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Old Oct 7th 2016, 08:59 AM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Default Lancelot-Mordred: Arthurian History Dualism

Lancelot and Mordred are two iconic knights from Arthurian legend.

Lancelot has been characterized as an unusually skilful and valiant (but fickle and scandalous) knight of Camelot and sometime friend (and sometime betrayer) of the legendary King Arthur, while Mordred has been marked as a prominent rival of Arthur and a calculating threat (a real warlord) to the English kingdom of Camelot.

Revisionist historians have reoriented depictions of Lancelot and Mordred, and this has taken some lustre away from the natural contouring these two knights provide to Arthurian history.

Lancelot is to Mordred what Hamlet was to Fortinbras. Pensive Lancelot was described as having an adulterous affair with Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur but still served Camelot on the battlefield. Mordred was described as the illegitimate son of Arthur's betraying sister, Morgan and stormed Camelot under the direction of his unscrupulous mother.

Lancelot is therefore ethically controversial but still a defender of Camelot, while Mordred is considered through-and-through a challenger of King Arthur, which makes the Lancelot-Mordred dualism a great history symbol of 'knighthood-era intrigue.'




====

MORDRED: You betrayed Arthur and Camelot.
LANCELOT: My sword still serves my king.
MORDRED: You accuse me of using an unscrupulous spear?
LANCELOT: I charge you with wielding a devastating axe.
MORDRED: My weapon is meant to serve my mother, Morgan.
LANCELOT: Morgan has betrayed her brother.
MORDRED: You made Queen Guinevere infamous.
LANCELOT: I am still Arthur's servant.
MORDRED: Likewise, I 'serve' my mother, Morgan.
LANCELOT: Camelot is invulnerable to bloodlust.

====






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Old Oct 7th 2016, 06:09 PM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Default Re: Lancelot-Mordred: Arthurian History Dualism

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Originally Posted by Abishai100 View Post
Lancelot and Mordred are two iconic knights from Arthurian legend.
Being a bit of a pedant, I feel it is necessary to point out that Sir Lancelot, like Gwenivere, was invented by French Christian/romantic writers in the 13th century and added to the Arthurian story so they could turn the ancient legends of Arthur into a Christian Courtly Romance style story that was very popular in France at that time.

Mordred (son of Morgan Le Fay, the Fairie Queen) is actually associated with the old/original Arthurian legends, as was Merlin.

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Originally Posted by Abishai100 View Post
Revisionist historians have reoriented depictions of Lancelot and Mordred, and this has taken some lustre away from the natural contouring these two knights provide to Arthurian history.

Lancelot is to Mordred what Hamlet was to Fortinbras. Pensive Lancelot was described as having an adulterous affair with Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur but still served Camelot on the battlefield. Mordred was described as the illegitimate son of Arthur's betraying sister, Morgan and stormed Camelot under the direction of his unscrupulous mother.

Lancelot is therefore ethically controversial but still a defender of Camelot, while Mordred is considered through-and-through a challenger of King Arthur, which makes the Lancelot-Mordred dualism a great history symbol of 'knighthood-era intrigue.'
All invented by fiction writers after the end of the knighthood era, keeping in mind that Arthur, if he lived at all, lived and died long before the knighthood era began in the 8th century AD.
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Old Oct 7th 2016, 07:09 PM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Default Revisionism

Isn't it interesting how 'folk history' contributes to the 'experience of history'?

This is not necessarily a simple, straightforward, or even scientific process, so any romanticized or revisionist approach to 'history-storytelling' requires a rather strict adherence to a sociological definition of 'prestige,' no?

Interesting...

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Old Oct 11th 2016, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Revisionism

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Isn't it interesting how 'folk history' contributes to the 'experience of history'?
Before our modern era, there was no substantive difference between 'folk history' and 'real history'.

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Originally Posted by Abishai100 View Post
This is not necessarily a simple, straightforward, or even scientific process, so any romanticized or revisionist approach to 'history-storytelling' requires a rather strict adherence to a sociological definition of 'prestige,' no?

Interesting...

I find the old 'folk history' on this issue far more interesting than the commercial product that was constructed on top of it (and the commerical products that have been constructed on top of that). Commerical products are boring - they exist only to make money. If they fail to make money, they disappear. Non-commerical things are inherently more interesting because they survive without big profits to drive them.
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Old May 8th 2018, 11:00 PM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Lightbulb Stories: Dilution vs. Diction

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I find the old 'folk history' on this issue far more interesting than the commercial product that was constructed on top of it (and the commerical products that have been constructed on top of that). Commerical products are boring - they exist only to make money. If they fail to make money, they disappear. Non-commerical things are inherently more interesting because they survive without big profits to drive them.
I agree. This is a real concern in this modern age of 'interpretive history' which has almost become a 'formal subject' in our environment of dialogue-driven culture-analysis. Is this a contribution by liberals? Many think so.

I wonder however if this actually adds to intrigue and intellectualism or if it merely, as you and I have both intimated, simply adds 'color and longevity.'

In Boorman's film Excalibur, for example, we see Mordred in an iconic shiny gold armor and Lancelot in a shiny bright-silver armor, almost as if the two Arthurian folkloric-characters are somehow foils.

Is this kosher or a kind of apologetics? I agree that Lancelot adds 'romance' to the Camelot-lore, but since Mordred is attributed by many historians as adding 'political intrigue' to Camelot-lore, should revisionist-historians cast these two knights as foils?

One thing is for certain --- Lancelot is portrayed as unusual and controversial and also a very skilled swordsman, while Mordred is portrayed as incendiary and combative and also a shrewd 'revolutionary' (or upstart).

Which knight therefore 'threatens' Arthurian-historianship 'objectivity' more (in terms of romanticized Christianity)?

Many history-fans (including myself!) enjoy pairing Lancelot and Mordred as battlefield-counterparts. Check out this fan-fic (for example!) I wrote on Comic-Vine about these two knights engaging with each other:

Mordred versus Lancelot


Also, what if this Lancelot-Mordred pairing complements our historical evaluation of the general 'violence' of Camelot (not necessarily explored) by all historians? Camelot and Arthur are in many cases cast as 'magical' or even 'heavenly' but when you add the stories of Lancelot's adultery and unusual swordsmanship or Mordred's challenge to Arthur and his warlord-oriented 'stance,' Arthur's reign can be cast as rather 'multi-dimensional'...

But since all of that might not actually be true, is that good or bad? I mean, do historians feel an obligation to be storytellers in some sense?

What do you think? Is this all cinema or can some of it be cast as...appealing to youngers/children? Many educators might find such appeal beneficial to 'marketing.'

Thanks for your responses, Michael. I've continued to find them very challenging!

I'm retiring from Internet-blogging very soon now, so I wanted to wish you continued stimulation and good luck!


Cheers,





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