Students in my WR 222 class, Introduction to Literature and Writing, have read Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “history” of Arthur, which includes his account of the Roman War campaign. Since then, we have read the 12th century French Arthurian romance Knight of the Cart by Chretien de Troyes and a lay by Marie de France. Now we are turning to Malory’s version of the Roman War campaign.
I’m dragging unwitting others along into my obsession!
Here is what I’ve asked my students to do:
Consider one passage in Malory’s Roman War account. How does it differ from Geoffrey’s account? Provide a quote from Malory and a quote from Geoffrey to explore the difference. Or, note how the episode doesn’t occur in Geoffrey and consider what it adds to Malory’s narrative. What seems to be the meaning of this passage when you think of it in the larger context of Malory’s telling of the Roman War campaign? What does Malory want to emphasize?
A few passage you might want to consider:
- The beginning of the episode
- The departure from England
- The role of Tristan, Lancelot, Guinevere
- Arthur’s battle with the giant
- Arthur’s battle with Frollo
- The geographic descriptions
- The conquest of Rome
- The different endings
They will be contributing their insights by way of the comment function. Once all the responses are in, I will gather them into a new post.
Looking forward to your insights, Marylhurst students!