The Arthurian Way of Death

November 2009
4 black and white illustrations
278 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9781843842088
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

The Arthurian Way of Death

The English Tradition

Edited by Karen Cherewatuk, K.S. Whetter

The motif of death and dying traced through over a thousand years of the English Arthurian tradition.
It is arguably the tragic end to Arthur's kingdom which gives the myth its exceptional resonance and power. The essays in this volume explore the presentation of death and dying in Arthurian literature and film produced in England and America from the middle ages to the modern day. Authors, texts and topics covered include Geoffrey of Monmouth, the chronicle tradition, and the alliterative Morte Arthure; Gawain and the Green Knight, Ywain and Gawain, the stanzaic Morte Arthur, and Malory's Morte Darthur; Tennyson's Idylls, Pyle's retelling of the myth for American children, David Jones, T.H. White, Donald Barthelme, Rosalind Miles and Parke Godwin. Featured films include Knight Rider, Excalibur, First Knight, and King Arthur.

CONTRIBUTORS: Sian Echard, Edward Donald Kennedy, Karen Cherewatuk, Michael W. Twomey, K. S. Whetter, Thomas Crofts, Michael Wenthe, Lisa Robeson, Cory James Rushton, Janina P. Traxler, James Noble, Julie Nelson Couch, Samantha Rayner, Kevin J. Harty

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Karen Cherewatuk and Kevin S Whetter
'But here Geoffrey falls silent': Death, Arthur, and the Historia regum Britannie - Sian Echard
Mordred's Sons - Edward Donald Kennedy
Dying in Uncle Arthur's Arms and at His Hands - Karen Cherewatuk
'Hadet with an aluisch mon' and 'britned to noght': Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Death, and the Devil - Michael W. Twomey
Love and Death in Arthurian Romance - Kevin S Whetter
Death in the Margins: Dying and Scribal Performance in the Winchester Manuscript - Thomas Howard Crofts
The Legible Corpses of Le Morte Darthur - Michael Wenthe
Malory and the Death of Kings: The Politics of Regicide at Salisbury Plain - Lisa Robeson
Layde to the Colde Erthe: Death, Arthur's Knights, and Narrative Closure - Cory Rushton
Arthurian Exits: Alone, Together, or None of the Above - Janina P Traxler
Woman as Agent of Death in Tennyson's Idylls of the King - James Noble
Death as 'Neglect of Duty' in Howard Pyle's The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur - Julie Nelson Couch
Death and the 'grimly voice' in David Jones's In Parenthesis - Samantha J. Rayner
Roll the Final Credits: Some Notes on Cinematic Depictions of the Death of Arthur - Kevin J Harty


Provides a number of insightful and intriguing ways of understanding Arthurian texts. ENGLISH

A provocative array of analyses of the various incarnations of Arthurian death. [...] This volume teems with stimulating studies [and] attests to its potential value as the seminal work for future scholarship on English (and undoubtedly continental) traditions of Arthurian death. ARTHURIANA

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