Le Morte D’Arthur, Book 2, Part 1

I have not updated this project in like…a year? It was giving me anxiety, so I stopped doing it. And also like…I started it when I was seventeen so my grammar was really weird and I had single quotes instead of double quotes for some reason?? And WordPress is super weird so I can’t figure out how to make one sentence into a different color without changing the color of my whole paragraph and now I have to change my formatting for this project???

But I’m back to it now, and I’m definitely going to try to keep working through it! I’ve got a pretty big hyperfixation on Arthurian legends, and blogging about it is a pretty good way to sate it.

Previously on Le Morte D’Arthur: Arthur attempted to murder his infant son in order to avoid the prophecy of doom, which always goes well and has never backfired on any mythological parent ever! Anyway, long story short, Mordred survives. Bad luck for all those other kids Arthur ALSO killed just to make sure he got him, though.

After the death of Uther Pendragon, his son Arthur reigned, and Arthur held many wars in his day in order to get all of England into his hands, for there were many kings within the realm of England, Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall. [Maybe Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall were ruling themselves just fine? Just throwing that out there as a hypothetical idea]

When King Arthur was at London, a knight came and gave the king tidings of how the king Rience of North Wales had raised up a great number of people and had entered into the land and burned and slew King Arthur’s people. [It’s been a while, so I almost forgot, but I’m pretty sure that that’s the guy who collects the beards of his enemies for….reasons??]

“If this is true,” said Arthur, “it would be a great shame unto my estate unless I withstand him mightily.”

“It is true,” said the knight, “for I saw the army myself.”

“Well,” said the king, “send forth a proclamation that all the lords, knights, and gentlemen of arms should draw back to the castle called Camelot.” And there the king held council, and held a great tournament. [Is this really time for a tournament lmao]

When the king came to Camelot with his barons, there came a damsel sent as a messenger from the great Lady Lile of Avalon. And when she came before King Arthur, she told him where she came from, and why she was sent as a messenger. Then she let her richly-furred cloak fall, and showed that she was girded with a fine sword.

The king marveled, and said, “damsel, for what cause do you have that sword? It does not beseem you.” [I’m not mad at Arthur for period accurate sexism, but I would like to say that girls with swords are sexy and let the sexy sword woman live in peace (spoiler alert: She doesn’t)]

“I shall tell you,” said the damsel. “This sword I am girt with causes me great sorrow and difficulty, for I may not be delivered of this sword except by a knight; and the knight must be a good man, without villainy or treachery or treason. [Am I using the correct tenses of gird? I do not know and I do not care.] And if I find a knight with all these virtues, he may draw this sword from the sheath. I have been to King Rience, and he and all his knights have tried to pull out the sword, but none could.”

“This is a great marvel,” said Arthur, “if this be true. I will myself attempt to draw out the sword. I do not presume myself to be the best knight, but I will give example to all the barons that they may try, each one after the other, when I have attempted it.” Then Arthur took the sword by the sheath and the girdle and pulled at it eagerly, but the sword would not move. [*sips tea* so, about your son that you attempted to murder]

“Sire,” said the damsel. “You need not pull half so hard. He that shall pull it out shall do so with little effort.”

“You speak well,” said Arthur. “My barons may try.”

“But beware that you are not defiled with shame, treachery, or guile, for you will not be able to pull out the sword,” said the damsel. [Didn’t she already say this?] “For he must be a clean knight without villainy and of a gentle strain on both his father’s and mother’s side.” [Not only do YOU have to be good, your parents have to be good, too! What is going on with this magic sword]

Most of the barons that were there at that time tried all in a row, but no one had good luck. So the damsel made great sorrow out of measure, and said, “alas, I thought that this court would have the best knights without treachery or treason.” [Look, not to be a hater, but is a weird magic sword really the end all and be all of character judgement?]

“By my faith,” said Arthur, “these are as good knights as any that have lived in the world, but they cannot help you; so I am displeased.”

I feel like my English always low-key falls apart whenever I try to sort of wrangle Malory into modernish English, but I’m definitely WAY better at it than I was at seventeen. I probably ought to go back to the earlier chapters I’ve done and clean them up after a while. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed the latest bizarre Arthurian adventure! It only gets weirder from here.

4 thoughts on “Le Morte D’Arthur, Book 2, Part 1

  1. hi becky! I haven’t commented on a blog post in… right, like 7 months lol
    but this series has been your baby + I used to comment on it and enjoy it a lot so I wanted to share with you that I still enjoy it! i’m glad you’re coming back to it ❤
    Also, I read somewhere that the tales of King Arthur + Merlin were originally Welsh which is really interesting and I didn't know that earlier! Do you know more? If anyone knows about old Arthurian tales, it's you ahha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh I’m glad to see you again!! I’m happy that you still enjoy the series! And yeah, the stories were originally Welsh! I don’t know as much about the Welsh stories, unfortunately, and it’s been a while since I’ve done my research on King Arthur’s origins, but King Arthur was first mentioned in Welsh poetry and chronicles, starting from about the 9th century I think? I’ve loved the medieval Welsh poetry and stories that I’ve read and I’d like to get more into it! The Mabinogion, a collection of 12th/13th century Welsh stories, has some Arthurian stories in it and it sounds really cool. I need to finally sit down and read it, lol.

      Like

    • Thank you!
      Le Morte D’Arthur is indeed bizarre, as are most medieval stories, to be honest. It’s why I love them. I feel like some of my favorite stories are just. absolutely wild. Medieval romances? Star Trek? I also love a lot of Wuxia? There’s clearly something going on here with my taste in stories, lol.
      ‘Gird’ is just a weird word I guess? I glad I’m not the only one, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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