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Kingship in Malory’s Morte Darthur and the Scots Lancelot of the Laik

Kingship in Malory’s Morte Darthur and
the Scots Lancelot of the Laik

By Kylie Murray

Medieval Forum Vol. 6 (2007)

Abstract

King Arthur’s rule is a complex issue in Malory’s Morte Darthur and the fifteenth-century Scots romance, Lancelot of the Laik. I explore each text’s expression of the late fifteenth-century political mood of the nation to which it belongs through the medium of Arthur’s rulership, and the influence of advisory ‘mirror for princes’ literature. I initially identify the paradigms each text creates of Arthur’s leadership, and then interrogate his response to advice and his execution of justice. In conclusion I postulate a different inflection of the speculum trope by considering how kingship is mirrored in other characters besides Arthur.

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