Honor and Chivalry in the Morte D’arthur

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Religion and Damsels in Distress as Vehicles for Honor and Chivalry in The Morte D’Arthur
In The Morte D’Arthur, Tomas Malory uses the saint-like character traits and actions of Sir Galahad and the events surrounding Queen Guinevere and Lancelot’s love affair to depict honor and chivalry.
In The Miracle of Galahad, Sir Galahad upholds honor to a holy point in all of his actions. After King Mordrains’s death, Galahad willingly punishes himself by placing his hand in fire; a symbolic representation of repenting to avoid the fiery depths of purgatory. Galahad does this with such noble resolve that the flames barely singe his flesh, let alone his courage. “But that heat might not abide his pure virginity. And so this was taken in the country for a miracle…” (paragraph 7, page 281) He is admired long after this day because of his mental and physical strength, but also because of the lengths he was willing to go to preserve his honor. Galahad also demonstrates the value he places on honor in the re-burial of a desecrated tomb. Despite the deceased man’s sins, Galahad is convinced that every man deserves to be honored in death and given a chance at salvation, and is willing to see to the task himself. “And that night lay Sir Galahad in the abbey; and on the morn he gave him his service and put him in the earth before the high altar.” (paragraph 4, page 282)
Religiousness was a mark of high honor in the days of King Arthur. A truly respectable knight was one who not only vowed to serve his king and country, but also lived to serve God. Jesus called Galahad to him, and Galahad recognizes loyalty to Him and God as his hidden ambition. “Lord, I thank Thee, for now I see that that hath been my desire many a day.” (paragraph 1, page 287) Galahad, worthy of rewards beyond average men, makes only one humble request: “Now, my Blessed Lord, I would not live in this wretched world no longer, if it might please Thee, Lord. “ (paragraph 1, page 287) Sir Galahad’s honor can never

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