Religious ambivalence in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur
LE3 .A278 2016
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
This thesis argues that Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur details an ambivalent view of religion in relation to chivalry. This is not to say Malory viewed religion with the same weight as secular values, only that a religious struggle is evident within the text . This thesis explores this ambivalence through the characters of Arthur, Merlin, and Lancelot as their narratives highlight this struggle most. In regard to Arthur, this thesis explores the contradiction of being religious while ruling . The second chapter explores Merlin’s dualistic nature as both heavenly emissary to Arthur and the devil’s son. The final chapter looks at Lancelot and his spiritual struggle to achieve the grail while occupying the roles of chivalric knight and courtly lover. This thesis contends that Malory’s dualistic worldview and the Morte’s ambivalence toward religion is seen through the weaving of secular ideals into the narrative compared to its more religious sources
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.