Lancelot: the "Synfull Man Of The Worlde? ? Essay by Bookish Ivan

Lancelot: the "Synfull Man Of The Worlde? ?
An analysis of the spiritual development of Lancelot in the 13th century piece "La Morte Le Roi Artu".
# 65567 | 1,850 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on May 13, 2006 in Literature (French) , Literature (General)

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This paper discusses the spiritual development of the Lancelot character in "La Morte Le Roi Artu", from the 13th century. The author, referring to an English translation of the original French version, deals with a quote by the character Malory, who calls Lancelot the best of only sinful men of the world. In a similar romance from the French Vulgate Cycle (which Malory used as his main source), Lancelot develops spiritually.

From the Paper:

"In La Morte Le Roi Artu, Lancelot achieves contemptus mundi and his character develops a genuinely spiritual aspect. In Le Morte D'Arthur, which used The Le Morte Le Roi Artu as a source, Lancelot remains a static character unable to free himself from the material world. Both Lancelots begin their stories with comparable degrees of worldly attachment but only in La Morte Le Roi Artu does Lancelot find redemption. In La Morte Le Roi Artu, Lancelot undeniably commits adultery with Guinevere. This transgression gives him a definite depth of sinfulness from which to rise, whereas in Le Morte D'Arthur, Lancelot hovers ambiguously near adultery for the entirety of the book. In La Morte Le Roi Artu, Lancelot's sins are frequently mentioned by other characters, but as his character develops, these sins are mentioned less often and Lancelot is sometimes absolved of guilt. There is a similar contrast regarding Lancelot's involvement in wrongful quarrels: Lancelot's spiritual development is reflected in the causes for which he fights and in his reluctance to fight at all. During La Morte Le Roi Artu, Lancelot's focus shifts from the outer, courtly world, to an inner world of faith, conviction, and disregard for reputation. In Le Morte D'Arthur, however, Lancelot cannot fully turn from the outer world and no inner world opens up to him. Ultimately, Malory's story of Lancelot is wholly tragic, while La Morte Le Roi Artu allows for redemption."

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