Lancelot/Mordred: Arthurian Revisionism

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Thread: Lancelot/Mordred: Arthurian Revisionism

  1. #1

    Lancelot/Mordred: Arthurian Revisionism

    Lancelot and Mordred are two auspicious knight-warriors described in Arthurian legends about the fabled English kingdom of Camelot ruled over by the pseudo-democratic but troubled King Arthur (and his prophetic Knights of the Round Table).

    King Arthur was supposedly real and Arthurian legends are loosely based on fact. The kingdom of Camelot was thrown in turmoil apparently when Arthur's might first knight Lancelot committed perjury and engaged in an extra-marital affair with Arthur's wife Queen Guinevere. Lancelot was expelled but, as the legend goes, he returned to his king loyal and dutiful and assisted him in his battle with the forces of the calculating Mordred.

    Mordred is supposedly the half-son of Morgan, Arthur's treacherous sister who raised Mordred to overthrow Camelot. As we search for the social symbolism in Camelot fables and the political significance and historical value of Arthurian legends (as they pertain to discussions about monarchy, feudalism, and republicanism), we could try to understand why Mordred is the pronounced 'Devil' of the Camelot story and how Lancelot is the double-edged unlikely guardian.

    While Lancelot arguably betrays Arthur as much as Mordred does, Lancelot also supposedly comes to Arthur's aid against the forces of Mordred, so we can argue that Lancelot is semi-redeemed to Camelot and is therefore a perfect character foil for Mordred.

    In John Boorman's classic Arthurian legends adapted 1981 film Excalibur, King Arthur quests after a magical sword which will help him solidify the immortality of his magical kingdom but encounters a strange valiant knight named Lancelot (dressed in armor of pure shining silver) and a rival estranged diabolical and cruel knight named Mordred (dressed in armor of pure shining gold).

    Boorman decides to cast Lancelot and Mordred in contrasting light so as to make them pseudo-foils of each other, with King Arthur as the figurehead of an era of fables and danger. We can use the Boorman film perhaps to better understand the boundaries of chivalry, the historical weight of knights pitted as good and evil, and evaluate/discuss the Lancelot-Mordred 'omen.'



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  2. #2
    I am not sure in what context this was written, but I found no nits while proof reading it. Welcome to the NF section of the site...Bob


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