Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!

By Gary L. Hardcastle; George A. Reisch | Go to book overview

10

God Forgive Us

STEPHEN FAISON

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his Knights of the Round Table get into all sorts of comic trouble as they search for the sacred article. Why do they seek it? They have been commanded by God. According to the animated God, people have lost the sense of purpose to their lives. Arthur is to search for the Holy Grail and in doing so provide much needed inspiration to others.

On the first leg of their journey Arthur and his knights reach a castle. Arthur announces himself to the guards as “King of the Britons,” and invites their master to join his holy mission. Unfortunately the spokesman for the castle guards (John Cleese) is not British. Even worse, he's French! The Frenchmen snicker at Arthur's invitation, and when the King threatens to enter by force in the name of God, they hurl nonsensical insults, then livestock. King Arthur is frustrated because his God, wearing a kingly crown, really did order the quest, and Arthur expects others to be moved by his holy authority. The reaction of Cleese and his mates illustrates how silly the mission seems to those who do not share Arthur's beliefs. In order to accept Arthur's claim, they must believe that God would command such a mission and enlist English “pig-dogs” to accomplish it. The Frenchmen are skeptical, to say the least.

Scenes pertaining to religious belief in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian, and Monty Python's The

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