MALORY'S VERSION OF THE 'QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAIL'
MALORY'S Book XV contains an account of Lancelot's adventures in quest of the Holy Grail. There is no better way of showing Malory's treatment of the Grail story than by comparing this book with the corresponding portion of the French Romance. In the following pages will be found a complete collation of Book XV with ft. 540r col. 2-545r col. 2 of MS. Bibl. Nat. fr. 120 (MS. O). Passages common to both texts have been italicized. The non-italicized passages in the French are those which Malory left out. The non-italicized passages in Malory's text are his additions and alterations.
It will be seen that his alterations are due either to carelessness or to over-condensation. The additionsns, however few' reflect some of his characteristic ideas about Chivalry (v. supra, pp. 55-69) and the Grail. The italicized passages show his method of translation, and the extent of his indebtedness to the French source. Perhaps the most important parts of this collation are the non-italicized sections of the French text. They form an elaborate theological treatise and provide a detailed commentary on the Grail story. The way in which Malory dismisses them with brief résumés illustrates his attitude towards the doctrine of the French source (v. supra, pp. 78-84) and justifies the conclusion that he was little concerned with the mystical interpretation of the Quest.1____________________