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Betrayal In Malory's Le Morte D’arthur

1399 words - 6 pages

Mammen 1
Sheena Mammen
Professor Lynch
English 102 H
March 13, 2014
Malory Paper
Malory's Le Morte D’Arthur isn't known to be classic just because of Arthur-but rather the themes of family, love, revenge, identity, loyalty and betrayal. As King, Arthur is put in many situations that test the people he surrounds himself with. Therefore, betrayal has become a reoccurring theme. Throughout the novel, people are seen betraying each other. Betrayal has become familiar in a way to the members of the round table, ultimately leading to it's demise. The acts of betrayal occur in various forms, whether it be through adultery or just going behind the other person's back. Regardless of how it happens it brings about serious disorder for all involved.
The first of act of real betrayal is seen towards the beginning of the novel committed by Sir Accalon of Gaul and Morgan Le Fey. King Arthur under the impression that he and Accalon were friends, had no idea that Accalon was planning on killing him. But the even worse was the fact his sister spearheaded the whole thing. At this point Arthur is being betrayed by his Knight and his sister. Morgan was the one who seduced Accalon into the idea of becoming the strongest knight and giving him this false confidence. His false perception of strength came from the fact that Morgan gave him sword of Excalibur. Arthur finds out and says, “But I fele by thy wordis that thou haste agreed to the deth of my persone: and therefore thou art a traytoure – but I wyte the lesse, for my sistir Morgan le Fay by hir false crauftis made the to agré to hir fals lustis. (Malory 90) In theses lines Arthur is forgiving
Mammen 2
Accalon for his actions and names Morgan Le Fey as the real culprit and therefore forgives Accalon. After he pleads and cries to the king. Malory shows Arthur being betrayed by family in the beginning of the novel which could be seen as foreshadowing events that are set to occur later on.
Betrayal of lovers is also common in this novel, especially when it comes to knights sleeping with their king’s wife. As the novel progresses Trystrames who was trusted by King Mark to get La Beale Isoud betrays him by permanently failing in love with her. Trystrames and Isoud had unknowingly taken a love. She was later taken to King Mark to be married off, But later Trystrames had got into a fight with Sir Palamides over Isoud. Not only was King Mark betrayed but so was Trystrames by his own cousin, Andred. He was the one who mentioned to the King his knowledge about his cousin, “so uppon a day Sir Trystrames talked with La Beale Isode in a wyndowe, and that aspyed Sir Andred and tolde the kyng. Than Kyng Marke toke a swerde in his honde and cam to Sir Trystrames and called hym "false traytowre," and wolde have stryken hym.“ (Malory 266) As a result of the King being made aware by what went on, Andred and the twelve knights went after Trystrames and shot him with a poison arrow. The betrayal...

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