What characteristics of Medieval Romance are shown in Le Morte D'Arthur? Book: Le Morte D'Arthur Author: Sir Thomas Malory

Essay by jaymejo39High School, 11th gradeA, January 2005

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The quest of the Sangreal in Le Morte D'Arthur depicts several of the characteristics of Medieval Romance. For instance, Sir Launcelot's struggle to find the grail and come to terms with his sins reflects the quality. Sir Launcelot's attempt at the grail begins on page 387, and the ensuing events show the knight as the tale's protagonist. Another key element of this literature was the notion of a quest and the physical and mental struggles involved in it. In portraying the fundamental characteristic of the quest, Malory writes of Sir Galahad and his pursuit of the Holy Grail. Sir Galahad's quest tested every facet of his character, but the spiritual rewards were received in the end. When Sir Galahad finally attained the Holy Grail he declared, "I thank you (Jesus) for giving me what I have desired; and now, if it please you, I pray, may I leave this world?" (430).

Since his quest was over, his wish was granted, and angels lifted his soul to heaven.

In one point in the story, Sir Bors, Sir Percivale, and Sir Galahad, board a ship after taking the advice of a young noblewoman, Sir Percivale's sister. This ship is a magical relic from centuries before and contains a sword that provides its wielder with superhuman abilities. The supernatural elements involved in the episode are qualities of romance. It is evident that the sword has mystical powers because it is stated that due to a bone on the hill "no hand that ever held it should weary or receive an injury" (409). Along with the supernatural, Medieval Romance typically portrays the conflict between "good' and "evil". Naturally, the forces of good are of pure heart, whereas the evil forces serve only to corrupt. Malory uses conflicts of good and evil...