Orientalism in Parzival

Topics: Holy Grail, Romance, Monty Python and the Holy Grail Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: April 17, 2014
Morgan Torbert
Film Response 6

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is very obviously a satirical imitation of the medieval romances. The film follows King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table on their most notable quest, the quest for the Holy Grail. Knighthood and chivalry were the ideal characteristics physically and as personality traits for a man in medieval times. The physical ideals included strength, skill at arms and horsemanship while the non-physical ideals incorporated courage, humility, courtesy and loyalty. The film pokes fun at the medieval implementation of these ideals by exaggerating them to nonsensical proportions. The film shows that gallant knights remaining loyal to their traditions in the chaos of medieval times is almost impossible to believe as well as ridiculous. For example, King Arthur is portrayed as a British Don Quixote who lacks a horse but still trots about the countryside trying to find knights to join his quest for the Grail. The quest typically would be the trial for the knights to show their skills and all the ideals that they hold in high esteem. The satire of the film points out the insanity of Arthur’s quest for unquestioned religious affirmation, no matter the public cost. The peasants watching from the fringe of the plot question the disturbing inanity of the value of the desired prize. For instance, the peasants sitting in front of King Arthur flinging mud do not even recognize him. They even specifically reference voting, which is not done in nations with a monarchy. Even after they found out he was the king; they still disrespected him. Traditionally in novels or visual texts of this period, he would have gotten some respect. Throughout his journey, every supposedly serious moment is subject to ridicule. The crazy part of this film and its infamy as a pop culture telling of the Grail story is that despite its deliberate lack of seriousness, the film shows signs of being meticulously researched and intellectually...
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