This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur And Monty Python And The Holy Grail

2271 words - 9 pages

Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur and Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Professor’s comment: This student uses a feminist approach to shift our value judgment of two works in a surprisingly thought-provoking way. After showing how female seduction in Malory’s story of King Arthur is crucial to the story as a whole, the student follows with an equally serious analysis of Monty Python’s parody of the female seduction motif in what may be the most memorable and hilarious episode of the film.

Much of the humor in Monty Python and the Holy Grail derives from the pure absurdity of its characters and situations. King Arthur roams the British countryside on an imaginary horse, evil enemies can only be appeased with offerings of shrubbery, and the knights of the Round Table battle a bloodthirsty killer bunny, to cite just a few examples. The movie contains a great deal of such explicit comedy, but much of its humor works on a more subtle level, plot and dialogue shrewdly satirizing the unjustness of such Arthurian conventions as autocracy, severe social class distinctions, and vainglorious codes of chivalry. The movie also pokes fun at the rather demeaning view of women in traditional Arthurian legend. In Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur women primarily serve as figures of sexual temptation who bring great danger and suffering to the men that interact with them. Monty Python and the Holy Grail,on the other hand, satirizes the idea of the destructive temptress and presents women characters in a manner that undercuts this negative Arthurian stereotype.

In Malory’s famous account of the King Arthur legend, the most notable example of woman as destructive sexual temptation is, of course, Queen Guinevere. Sir Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere results in an immense amount of physical and emotional suffering for the knight, who repeatedly risks bodily harm to protect the queen and also bears the brunt of her frequent angry tirades. For example, when Sir Mellyagaunce kidnaps the queen, Lancelot undergoes much physical hardship to rescue her, including confronting archers, crossing rough terrain, and escaping imprisonment. Another time, when Sir Mador de la Porte accuses Queen Guinevere of treason, Lancelot enters into trial by combat in the queen’s defense. Mador gravely injures him in the battle: “Sir Mador…smote [Lancelot] through the thick of the thighs, that the blood brast out fiercely. And…[Lancelot] felt himself so wounded and saw his blood.” (124–125) In addition to such physical pain, the queen often causes Lancelot great emotional distress. Once, for instance, Guinevere devastates Lancelot when she wrongly accuses him of being unfaithful to her and angrily banishes him from her court: “Right so Sir Lancelot departed [Camelot] with great heaviness that unneth him might sustain himself for great dole-making” (115).

Not only does Lancelot’s affair with Guinevere cause him a great deal of suffering, it wreaks havoc on the lives of...

Find Another Essay On Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur and Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Identity in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

2753 words - 11 pages Identity in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur It can be difficult to define the unifying themes of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur ; it can seem a tangle of random adventures mired with magic and religion, love and fate. What is the purpose behind all the seemingly similar adventures of so many similar knights? And what is the place that the books of Sir Trystram hold? These books make up the longest section of the work, yet

Culture and values of the texts, "Le Morte Darthur" by Malory and "Saint" by Sir Bernard Shaw

1446 words - 6 pages well the era in which the story is written in.Sir Thomas Malory (1415-1471) Arthur of the famous and influential version of the legend of King Arthur. The title Le Morte Darthur is taken from the epilogue of William Caxton's landmark illustrated edition of 1485.In the introduction to the Le Morte Darthur the author refers to himself as a knight prisoner. It is in reference to the fact the most part of Le Morte Darthur had been written whilst

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

613 words - 2 pages 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

March of the Penguins and Monty Python, Money and Ridiculousness

1626 words - 7 pages caliper of items that one buys for them and the way that they are treated, very created by these ideas of the symbolism of the animals. Here people have actual experience with these animals, but the idea of them being a member of the family not just as animals is heavily influenced by the media surrounding the pet store business . Now, back to Monty Python, in this sketch the scientists are highly flawed research, and produce ridicules amounts

Harry Potter and the Holy Grail

1152 words - 5 pages Two of the best things in the world, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Harry Potter,” have a good deal in common. Other than the vast amount of space reserved in my brain for storing quotes and random facts from these two stories, both tales share many similar objects, plot devices, character attributes, and themes. Even though Python's “Holy Grail” is an exact historical representation of the Arthurian Grail legend, some might argue that

Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Knight’s Tale, and Malory’s Morte

2137 words - 9 pages Knight, The Knight’s Tale, and Malory’s Morte are three texts that examine the institution of chivalry, and each of the three ultimately expresses doubt that its human practitioners can live up to its high ideals. The fourteenth century work Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most famous and complex of the medieval romances. This text puts Sir Gawain, one of Arthur’s greatest knights to the test, and in doing so, interrogates the

The Natural and Perceval, The Story of the Holy Grail

1364 words - 5 pages goal by the women in his life. The Natural is very much similar to the mythological story of Perceval, the Story of the Holy Grail. Roy Hobbs is comparable to Perceval, Pop Fisher to the Fisher King and the pennant to the Holy Grail. Roy Hobbs and Perceval are similar because they are both the main characters of their own stories. Both their parents had some sort of natural talent. Perceval’s father was a great knight and Roy’s father was a

Don quixote and le morte d art

680 words - 3 pages institution of chivalry.Le Morte d'Arthur and Don Quixote are very dissimilar in many ways. The first is a tragedy, the second a comedy. Le Morte d'Arthur is a compilation of several dozen smaller stories, each written with an individual focus on one central character. Don Quixote is one story written around one character, Don Quixote. Malory's work is filled murder, death, and violence, while in Cervantes' piece, no one is killed, all injuries are

"Cantebury tales" and "La Morte Darthur": good and evil in them

537 words - 2 pages In the middle ages there were many characters ranging from good to evil. In each story there was a person that was portrayed thoroughly as being either honorable or immoral. In the "Canterbury Tales" written by Geoffrey Chaucer the majority of the travelers are evil although there are a few that are genuinely good. In the story of "La Morte Darthur" written by Sir Thomas Malory there is one exceptionally kind hearted individual. There are many

Comparing Piety in The Wakefield Mystery Plays, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Le Morte D'Arthur

1244 words - 5 pages Allen. London: Oxford UP, Early English Text Society 212, 1940; rpt. 1961. Lawton, David. "Voice, Authority, and Blasphemy in The Book of Margery Kempe." Margery Kempe: A Book of Essays. Ed. Sandra J. McEntire. New York: Garland, 1992. 93-116. Malory, Sir Thomas. Works. Ed. Eugene Vinaver. London: Oxford University Press, 1966. Mann, Jill. "The Narrative of Distance, the Distance of Narrative in Malory’s Morte DArthur." The William Matthews Lectures 1991 delivered at Birkbeck College, London. Rose, Martial, ed. and trans. The Wakefield Mystery Plays. New York: Norton, 1961.

Pig And Python

625 words - 3 pages In Blanchard and Johnson, 'The One Minute Manager' and Daniels', 'Bringing Out the Best in People' we see how management strategies are the central priority of any organization. In both essays good management is the key goal for any successful outcome. In the essays we see that the environment and the skills that the employees represent, reflect the skills of the management within that company. However, differences do occur, such as style of

Similar Essays

Monty Python And The Holy Grail

1220 words - 5 pages      “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a satiric comedy about the quest of King Arthur. The movie starts out with Arthur, King of the Britons, looking for knights to sit with him at Camelot. He finds many knights including Sir Galahad the pure, Sir Lancelot the brave, the quiet Sir Bedevere, and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot. Through satire and parody of certain events in history (witch trials, the

Love And Morality In Le Morte Darthur

762 words - 3 pages The passion of love, treachery of betrayal and triumph of justice. It is not often today that we find three such vastly different characteristics woven into a tale so vividly. The epic Le Morte Darthur not only possesses these three characteristics, but delves deeply into the meaning and soul of them, most decidedly in the story of Sir Pelleas and Lady Ettard. The saga of these two tragic individuals clearly demonstrates the classic

A Comparative Essay On "Sir Gawain And The Green Knight" And "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" With Focus On The Impossibility Of Fulfilling The Chivalric Code

1070 words - 4 pages addition to these components of the Chivalric Code, a knight was to follow the seven Cardinal Virtues, which were justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and charity.Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight demonstrates the problematic nature of chastity. As Sir Galahad (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) is on his quest to find the Holy Grail, he arrives at the Castle Anthrax where he imagined seeing

Monty Python Holy Grail Types Of Comedy Used

613 words - 2 pages 'MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL'' You are to conduct a review on the film 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'paying particular attention to how the audience perceivesvarious components of comedy through out the film'As with the subsequent python films almost all the parts are played by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gillian, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Mike Palin who also collectively wrote the script.The year is 932 AD and king Arthur is