Le Morte Darthur of Sir Thomas Malory & Its Sources

By Vida D. Scudder | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE PAGEANT OF THE HOLY GRAIL (Continued)
BOOKS XIII-XVII

I

IN one sense, the fears of Arthur prove needless, for it soon becomes evident that, to the great majority of the knights, the great Adventure is no adventure at all. Presently they will be only too eager to get back to the old life again: Sarras has no charms for them, to rival Camelot.

Their diverse experiences are narrated, as the case may be, with reverence, with sympathy, or with refreshing humor. The action in the Grail books may be rather shadowy, but the people moving through the shadows have, strangely enough, come thoroughly alive. A few important knights have received careful treatment from the first, but now every least person is etched with strokes, broad or fine, but always firm. Individual temperament has much to do with the dramatic quality in this portion of the Morte Darthur, and even the most dull and allegorical adventures gain point when one realizes how cleverly they are assigned. In the early books, things might often as well happen to one person as to another. Now, occurrences are no longer simple events; they are revelations and tests of personality. One feels a more intimate quality in the

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