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Reflection of the Wars of the Roses in Thomas Malory`s Le Morte D`Arthur: Literary-cultural analysis

Reflection of the Wars of the Roses in Thomas Malory`s Le Morte D`Arthur: Literary-cultural analysis

By Tomáš Kocourek

Bachelor’s Thesis, University of Pardubice, 2007

Abstract: The aim of this research paper is to analyse the Morte D’Arthur and find certain historical moments incorporated in the book. Firstly, as the goal of work follows a hypothesis that Thomas Malory reflected manifold incidents from the Wars of the Roses in the Morte D’Arthur, it was inevitable to understand author’s position in this civil war, which meant investigating in the authorship. Ensuing from assumptions and facts of famous literary historians about all possible candidates, a conclusion was established that only Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel may be the author. On basis of this first finding, it was then possible to start an analysis of the work and Malory’s motives. Since the sources of the Morte D’Arthur have been analyzed in many different scholarly works, these were then taken as the basis for the analysis itself. In the course of the analysis, various incidents were reported to possess a certain degree of similarity or even to be wholly identical. Finally, following the results of the research, it was stipulated in the conclusion that the hypothesis was approved.

Excerpt: Although the stories about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table have been widely read since the time the book was first printed and became one of the treasures of English medieval literature, the author who delivered such a popular hero has, unlike Arthur, still not certainly been identified. The identification is even of greater importance, since Malory working with actualities from his contemporary society forms the core of the hypothesis of this research paper. Subject to many researches elaborated mainly in the nineteenth and the twentieth century, “Thomas Malory” was discovered to be a name used by several men who were alive in 1469/70, the time of elaboration of the Morte D’Arthur. However, none of these men can be rightly ascribed the authorship of the book, since there is no reliable evidence available that can give a clear proof that any of the “candidates” may have been the right one.

Click here to read this thesis from the University of Pardubice

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