Category Archives: Le Morte D’Arthur

Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XXI, Chapter 3

On the eve of this planned joust/battle with Mordred, Arthur dream[s] a wonderful dream.  He’s in a chair on a scaffold! It gets better.  The scaffold is all connected to this big wheel assembly, and it’s slowly turning.  As it … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XXI, Chapter 2

Mordred’s still working on getting Guenever out of her tower when a messenger brings him word: Arthur, Gawaine, and their troops are landing at Dover.  Mordred’s okay with this, though, because he has the common people on his side.  Apparently … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XXI Chapter 1

We cut back to England and flash back to just after Arthur and Gawaine sail away with their sixty thousand troops.  Mordred, Guenever, and all the other survivors of Book XX stand on the dock and watch them go. “Well, … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Mort D’Arthur, Book XX Conclusions

This book is a bloodbath.  Literally dozens of characters, some of whom we’ve seen many times over the course of Le Morte D’Arthur, are cut down during Launcelot’s two big knight-massacres.  So, okay, first there’s the big fight over Guenever.  … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XX Chapters 22 and 23

“Alas,” says Arthur, “that ever this unhappy war was begun.” Nevertheless Arthur does not go home, as Launcelot suggests!  Instead the siege goes on for three weeks more, with no activity to speak of, until one morning Sir Gawaine feels … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XX Chapter 21

For three solid hours they joust.  Sir Launcelot and Sir Gawaine, hammering one another out in the field in front of Castle Benwick.  Their horses die in the first pass, but without a word they dismount, pull out their swords, … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Book XX Chapter 20

And so, bright and early one morning, Arthur and his enormous army lay siege to Castle Benwick. Sir Gawaine, pretty much the last knight standing, acts as his general.  They encircle the castle and assault it with ladders, which Launcelot’s … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XX, Chapter 19

Meanwhile Arthur and Gawaine mobilize all of England to invade Benwick.  It’s sixty thousand troops, which is the largest army we’ve seen in a while, on par with Arthur’s invasion force in Book V or the armies he and Team … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XX, Chapters 17 and 18

Malory’s description at this point makes me almost wonder if he has some kind of preference between Sir Gawaine and Sir Launcelot, like, he thinks one of them is a generally awful person and the other is the best knight … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Le Morte D’Arthur, Book XX Chapters 14 to 16

Somehow the Pope hears about this war and writes a letter commanding Arthur and Launcelot to make up.  Malory explains that the Bishop of Rochester acted as the Pope’s messenger on this one, but fails to explain how the news … Continue reading

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