We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Malory and Christianity

Essays on Sir Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur


Publication Year: 2013

As Hanks and Jesmok note in their introduction, “pursuing opponents and pursuing love move the Morte’s narrative, but the work’s richness comes from its romance and tragic elements: the human quest for maturity and fulfillment and those uncontrollable forces that undermine the quest and destroy the dream. Malory’s use of myth and magic to explore these themes has received extensive scholarly attention, but his views on and thematic use of Christianity have long needed a closer look.” The collection features essays by the editors and by Corey Olsen, Sue Ellen Holbrook, Karen Cherewatuk, Dorsey Armstrong, Fiona Tolhurst, K. S. Whetter, and Felicia Nimue Ackerman.

Published by: Medieval Institute Publications

Series: Studies in Medieval Culture


pdf iconDownload PDF (75.2 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.4 KB)
pp. 2-5


pdf iconDownload PDF (57.8 KB)
pp. v-7

read more

Prefatory Note

pdf iconDownload PDF (51.7 KB)
pp. vii-9

In 1985, Medieval Institute Publications published Studies in Malory, edited by James W. Spisak. All the contributors to this volume have read and learned from that outstanding collection; it became a model for us. Although The Medieval Institute does not publish series on any authors, we the editors have come to think of this book as Studies in Malory: II. We salute the authors and editor of that ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (74.5 KB)
pp. 1-8

Less than a century after the death of Sir Thomas Malory, Roger Ascham wrote in The Scholemaster that the “whole pleasure” of Malory’s Morte Darthur “standeth in two speciall poyntes, in open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye: In which booke those be counted the noblest Knightes, that do kill most men without any quarell and commit fowlest aduoulteries by sutlest shiftes: as Sir Launcelote, with the ...

read more

“All maner of good love comyth of God”: Malory, God’s Grace, and Noble Love

pdf iconDownload PDF (116.6 KB)
pp. 9-28

As Janet Jesmok and I note in the introduction to this volume, one of the earliest critics of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Roger Ascham, condemned it on the grounds of immorality. He found in it only “open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye” as opposed to “honestie and godliness.” As the latter phrase suggests, Ascham found religious grounds for his argument, writing that he had seen the ...

read more

Adulterated Love: The Tragedy of Malory’s Lancelot and Guinevere

pdf iconDownload PDF (136.0 KB)
pp. 29-55

Sir Thomas Malory’s account of Lancelot and Guinevere’s love affair in the final sections of the Morte Darthur, beginning with Lancelot’s reunion with Guine-vere after the Grail Quest and ending in their cloistered separation, has had a strongly polarizing effect on his readers. In these final books, Malory consistently focuses the spotlight on the relationship of Lancelot and Guinevere, holding ...

read more

Endless Virtue and Trinitarian Prayer in Lancelot’s Healing of Urry

pdf iconDownload PDF (132.1 KB)
pp. 56-76

In Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, where chivalry is a way of life, moral prin-ciples operate with vigor but not necessarily with signs of Christianity. not all characters displaying chivalric values are identified as Christian or even religious. Moreover, those who are secular Christians frequently indicate their faith just incidentally, such as hearing Mass or expostulating, as Gareth does, “Jesu, wolde ...

read more

Christian Rituals in Malory: The Evidence of Funerals

pdf iconDownload PDF (106.1 KB)
pp. 77-91

In his classic study, The Making of the Middle Ages, R. W. Southern analyzes the Chrétien, as an author, was neither religious nor, in intention at least, anti-religious. Religion was part of the furniture of his sto-ries—indeed an essential part, for religious observance was one of the elements of good breeding. but the Christianity of Chrétien is ...

read more

Rhetoric, Ritual, and Religious Impulse in Malory’s Book 8

pdf iconDownload PDF (106.6 KB)
pp. 92-106

Religious impulse dominates “The Most Piteous tale of the Morte Arthur Saunz Guerdon,” book 8 of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur: Guinevere becomes a nun and an abbess, Lancelot becomes a priest, and his faithful followers take on religious habits. Malory uses religious rhetoric, ritual, and imagery to describe these conversions, suggesting, perhaps, that his epic romance has become hagi-...

read more

Christianity and Social Instability: Malory’s Galahad, Palomides, and Lancelot

pdf iconDownload PDF (119.5 KB)
pp. 107-126

As every essay in this volume suggests, Christianity is an important and compli-cated aspect of the chivalric world of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. The text enacts a complex and often vexed overlap, interaction, and, on occasion, oppo-sition of religious and chivalric identities. derek brewer once famously said of the Morte Darthur that “[f ]or Malory—and we shall never understand him if we ...

read more

Slouching towards Bethlehem: Secularized Salvation in Le Morte Darthur

pdf iconDownload PDF (158.3 KB)
pp. 127-156

Although P. J. C. Field has concluded that Malory drew upon at least four Grail romances as he composed his tale of the Sankgreal, this conclusion in no way undermines the scholarly consensus that Malory based his Grail story on the French vulgate Cycle’s La Queste del Saint Graal.1 both eugène vinaver and his successors in studying Le Morte Darthur have explored the possible meanings of ...

read more

Malory’s Secular Arthuriad

pdf iconDownload PDF (135.4 KB)
pp. 157-179

In the final scenes of Le Morte Darthur Sir Thomas Malory records how the few remaining Round table knights depart Arthur and Guinevere’s tomb for Joy-ous Garde, where they meet ector and inter Lancelot’s body; shortly there-after, bors, ector, blamour, and bleoberis depart england altogether for the Holy Land. “And there,” says Malory, “they dyed upon a Good Fryday for Goddes sake” ...

read more

“In my harte I am [not] crystynde”: What Can Malory Offer the Nonreligious Reader?

pdf iconDownload PDF (92.0 KB)
pp. 180-190

What can Malory offer the nonreligious reader? Part of the answer is splendidly obvious. Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur 1 offers gorgeous language, thrilling episodes, and emotionally engaging and believable characters,2 all in such abundance that it may seem the rankest greed to ask for more. but the greedy reader of Malory is rarely disappointed, and here I will discuss yet another way ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (111.8 KB)
pp. 191-202


pdf iconDownload PDF (58.3 KB)
pp. 203-206


pdf iconDownload PDF (72.7 KB)
pp. 207-224

Back Matter, Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.5 KB)
pp. 225-226

E-ISBN-13: 9781580441841
Print-ISBN-13: 9781580441759

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1
Series Title: Studies in Medieval Culture