Le Morte d'Arthur



Legitimacy (in birth): Arthur and  Mordred.

Morality / Immorality: Arthur's dubious morality; Merlin's amorality; Uther's immorality; the failure of any knight to live up to the chivalric code, etc.

Hope in Arthur, in a better future, in the honor of men

Love and desire and its aftermath


Main Characters

King Arthur



Sir Lancelot (Sir Launcelot Du Lac; sir Lancelot of the Lake)

Sir Tristan (Sir Tristram de Lyones)


Arthur's nephews by his half-sister Morgause, married to King Lot of Orkney:

Sir Gawain: refused to participate in Guinevere's execution

Sir Gaheris: refused to fight Lancelot; killed by accident by Lancelot

Sir Gareth: refused to fight Lancelot; killed by accident by Lancelot

Sir Agravain: plotted with Mordred to reveal Guinevere's adultery with Lancelot

Sir Mordred: actually the son of Arthur; kills Arthur after several attempts to humiliate and depose him.



Other Characters

Uther Pendragon


Morgan le Fay

Sir Ector

Sir Kay

King Mark



Lady of the Lake


The Pentecostal Oath (Round Table Oath)

“The king stablished all his knights, and gave them that were of lands not rich, he gave them lands, and charged them never to do outrageousity nor murder, and always to flee treason; also, by no mean to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asketh mercy, upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of King Arthur for evermore; and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen succor upon pain of death. Also, that no man take no battles in a wrongful quarrel for no law, ne for no world’s goods. Unto this were all the knights sworn of the Table Round, both old and young. And every year were they sworn at the high feast of Pentecost.”