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Le Morte d’Arthur

Malory Arthur Guinevere Lancelot Mordred. Valkyrie Easter Sunday Grail Legend Hero characteristics Symbols/allusions Why Arthur meets Mordred at Salisbury Plain. Le Morte d’Arthur. Arthur. Arthur. Historical Tribal chieftain?

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Le Morte d’Arthur

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  1. Malory Arthur Guinevere Lancelot Mordred Valkyrie Easter Sunday Grail Legend Hero characteristics Symbols/allusions Why Arthur meets Mordred at Salisbury Plain Le Morte d’Arthur

  2. Arthur

  3. Arthur • Historical • Tribal chieftain? • Based on Lucius Artorius Castus (AD 184),stationed in Britain, who led his troops into Gaul to quell a rebellion? • 458-60: Riothamus leads British contingent of British migrants into Brittany; thought by some to be original “Arthur” figure

  4. 496: Britons under command of “war leader” Arthur, defeat Saxons at Seige of Mount Badon • 501: Arthur mentioned in Welsh poem commemmorating Battle of Llongborth • 537 or 542: Battle of Camlann. Death there of Arthur, acc’d to Geoffrey of Monmouth, AD 542 • 600: Welsh bard writes “Y Gododdin” alluding to Arthur’s prowess as a warrior • 1019: Writers of saints’ lives include mentions of Arthur and his exploits

  5. Guinevere in the Golden DaysbyEleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1872-1945), "Guinevere in the Golden Days" from: Idylls of the King. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1911. This picture illustrates the lines from Tennyson's "Guinevere" idyll:As in the golden days.

  6. Guinevere • Born in Cameliard • Married Arthur • Love affair with Lancelot • Joined a cloister • Legends speak of “Gwenhwyfar” as “more faithless” than all the faithless wives in England • Yoko Ono

  7. Lancelot

  8. Lancelot • Comes late in the legend • Best of Arthur’s knights • Paragon of Chivalry • Won’t kill defeated knights; never wore ladies’ favors during tournaments • Wears a magical ring, given to him by Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, which protects him

  9. Lancelot • The Queen’s champion • Betrays Arthur with Guinevere • Caught by Mordred • Adulterers charged with treason; must be punished • Lancelot escapes to France • Returns to rescue the condemned Guinevere


  11. Mordred (Modred, Medrawd, or Medraut) has become the quintessential traitorous villain in the Arthurian tradition. • Arthur's bastard son by his half-sister Morgause, the wife of King Lot. This incestuous begetting, alternately an innocent mistake on the part of both parties, or a perverted seduction on Morgause's part, can in part explain why Mordred's character and sense of loyalty is so twisted

  12. Why Arthur meets Mordred at Salisbury Plain • When rescuing Guinevere, Lance kills Gawain’s brother, a guard • Gawain demands vengeance, forcing Arthur to attack Lance’s French castle • While Arthur is away, Mordred leads a rebellion in England, claiming the throne, trying to seize Guinevere

  13. Salisbury Plain, cont’d • Arthur returns from France to defend his crown • Arthur and Gawain battle Mordred at Dover • Gawain is fatally wounded, but manages to message Lance to come and help Arthur regain his court • Arthur regroups his men and moves to face Mordred, his son

  14. DE CASIBUS WHEEL • Wheel of Fortune!!!!!!!!!!! • Start at bottom, revolve as Fates decide • 3 Fates: spin the thread, lead it out, cut it off

  15. Valkyrie

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