The Anglo-Norman King Arthur
There are many ways that King Arthur is described through the readings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Wace and Laymon and the story of Marie de France’s Lanval. This paper examines the many different ways that King Arthur was portrayed at the different levels of writing. The report will also go over some of the types of literature the writings have been written in at the time.
The writing of Geoffrey begins talking about Brutus, descendant of Aeneas, came from Troy to try and take over Britain as a colony. In Geoffrey of Monmouth, we can obtain the information for King Arthur defeats the pagan Anglo-Saxon invaders. Then Arthur married Guinevere, and at the end of Arthurs reign, the Saxons returned to the traitor Mordred, as he is trying to take over Arthur’s sovereignty and marry Guinevere.
Roman de Brut has been based upon ...view middle of the document...
Layamon was an English priest who translated Wace’s writing into Middle English alliterative verses. However, he claims that he based this script on the English translation of Bede. Brut was the first introduction into the English language. It seems he put more emphasis to love-making a deed of a knight rather than courtly manners. Layamon wrote closer to the way Beowulf had been written. Grendel symbolized Modred, and Heorot symbolizes Arthurs Empire. Layamon seemed to write in a more understated way compared to Geoffrey and Wace’s writings. It was more based on the common people rather than a royal court. Arthur seemed willing to talk openly with his knights about his nightmare. He is honest about how feels toward his ex-queen and his nephew, and how he felt so betrayed by the man he loved best to do such a thing to him.
Lanval, written by Marie de France, also created a different vision for Arthur. Lanval is written in Anglo-Norman Literature of the Middle Ages in arrangements of eight-syllable couplets. This writing was before King Arthur became a hero to many of his followers. This was at a point where stories of him and his knights were originated in Celtic poems, and tales are heard across the Latin chronicles and French romances. Lanval and Geoffrey share the Arthurian tradition between the two writings. Lanval focused more on erotic fantasies and showed more human emotions such as jealousy. Jealousy meant that the other knights hated Lanval for his firm looks and courageous acts. He was wrongly accused of homosexual urges. When taken to trial, Arthur was portrayed like a patronizing politician.
Each of these writings depicts Arthur in one of the two settings. First Arthur being the main character and each plot revolves around only him and the second showing his knights as the hero’s and Arthur being a failure. In Geoffrey’s, Wace, and Layamon’s works, we can say Arthur was being imaged the main character, but in Lanval, he is the leader, but has no responsibilities or no real power of control.