Hair and Masculinity in the Alliterative Morte Arthure

King Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, detail from the "Christian Heroes Tapestry" dated c. 1385

This essay examines the use of forced hair cutting in the late fourteenth‐century alliterative romance, Morte Arthure, to show how it is used to develop characters that reflect the tension surrounding the English king Richard II and the tyranny that characterized the final years of his reign.

Secret Gestures and Silent Revelations: The Disclosure of Secrets in Selected Arthurian Illuminated Manuscripts and Arthurian Films

excalibur film

This paper explores visual language and iconic systems central to the representation of the Arthurian cycle in thirteenth and fifteenth century Gothic illuminated manuscripts and in two Arthurian films; its focus is the theme of courtly love and crucial revelations of the secret or hidden.

Malory’s Arthur and the Politics of Chivalry

The Death of King Arthur by James Archer (1823–1904)

The jury is back and the verdict is in. In Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, a major reason the Round Table falls is that its political apparatus and the chivalric ethos in which that apparatus is grounded are inadequate for maintaining a stable kingdom.

Five Ways Gawain Kicks Lancelot’s Ass

Sir Gawain, by Howard Pyle from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903)

Here are five ways in which Gawain shows Lancelot who’s boss!

The Evolution of Arthur


What really makes Arthurian legends so different from other heroic epics is its dynamic ability to evolve.

Magna Carta Conference Offers New Insights Into The 800-year-old Document

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

Magna Carta just celebrated its 800th birthday this past Monday. In honour of this incredible milestone, King’s College London, and the Magna Carta Project, hosted a 3 day conference dedicated to this historic document.

The Medieval Sleeping Beauty

medieval sleeping beauty - by Henry Meynell Rheam

I’ve since read an early version of the Sleeping Beauty story from the actual fourteenth century, and it’s much darker than the modern version, although it does hold an interesting secret for those who love the stories of the Round Table.

Genre Medievalisms: Geek Goes Chic!

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in HBO's, 'Game of Thrones'. Photo courtesy of (TV Guide)

Is Cersei a collection of bad medieval stereotypes? Have nerds gone mainstream? Were American cowboys a modern retelling of the medieval knight? Put down that comic, put away your bag of dice, and indulge your inner nerd.

Courtly Magic in the Middle Ages

British Library - Additional 10292   f. 87   Merlin gives letter to Pendragon and Uther

The possibility of the everyday use of magic by courtiers is emphasized by the employment of magic advisors and, very frequently, astrologists. The medieval court was a place for the elite, and thus the educated sector of society at this time.

Epic (and Not-So-Epic) Names from Mallory

Names from Mallory - Aubrey Beardsley - Le Morte d'Arthur

Looking for a name for your avatar? Look no further! Everyone knows Lancelot and Gawain, but here are some lesser-known names from one of my favourite books: Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur.

Merlin: The Medieval Embodiment of Overcoming the Devil

Merlin and Uther Pendragon - British Library Royal 20 A II   f. 3v

Merlin, child of a demon and pious woman, first appears in late twelfth century literature and develops uncanny prophetic abilities and unnatural powers rooted in his supernatural heritage, transforming him into a mysterious figure empowered by knowledge and cloaked in dichotomies resulting from his mixed parentage.

’I’m gonna git Medieval on your ass’: Pulp Fiction for the 90s – the 1190s

Pulp Fiction medieval

We feel confident in asserting that there are any number of telling informative analogies between Pulp Fiction and medieval chivalric literature, particularly Arthurian romance.

Caliburn: Merlin’s Tale

Caliburn Merlin Tale

The best way to describe Virgil Renzulli’s Caliburn: Merlin’s Tale is as a King Arthur origin story, set in an alternate universe.

Lancelot and His Upcoming Reboot: Forgiven or Unforgiven?

Parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere by   Julia Margaret Cameron

Remakes can be a really interesting way to get at the heart of a story, as long as they don’t misplace that heart in the retelling.

Henry II and Arthurian Legend

Henry II and  Eleanor - 14th century depiction

For several decades now, a number of medievalists have directly linked this new fashion in Arthurian literature to the patronage of Henry II.

The Figure of King Arthur as a Mirror of Political and Religious Views

604px-William_MorrisKing Arthur and Sir Lancelot, one of a set of 13 stained glass panels commissioned from Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. by Walter Dunlop for Harden Grange near Bingley Yorkshire. King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, one of a set of 13 stained glass panels commissioned from Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. by Walter Dunlop for Harden Grange near Bingley Yorkshire. _King_Arthur_and_Sir_Lancelot

I want to point out that hardly any other figure in literature has been as controversial and as ambivalent as that of Arthur.

Which ‘Merlin’ Character Are You?


Are you as magical as Merlin as clever as Morgana? Find out now!

Which Knight of the Round Table Are You?

knight round table

Are you one of the best knights of the world? Or, would you fail miserably at your quest? Take this quiz and find out!

Medieval Pop

Le Morte d'Arthur  Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898)

So what can we learn from reading medieval fiction alongside our history books? Here are five things, for a start.

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

The Devil and witches

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

Which Woman Would You Be in King Arthur’s Court?

Arthurian women

The legendary days of King Arthur were full of love and betrayal, loyalty and ambition, violence and intrigue. Which woman would you have been in Arthurian times? Take the test and find out!

Knighthood in Le Morte D’Arthur: Recapitulation of Development of Medieval Chivalric Literature

Chaucer’s Knyght - knights

Undoubtedly chivalry belongs among the most influential phenomena in medieval Europe. Since its emergence in the eleventh century chivalry with its concept of knighthood is adopted by various European countries in the era as one of the principal codes applied not only in military campaigns but also in the sphere of morality as well as the social stratification of the monarchies.

Competition and tradition: Carolingian political rituals, 751-800

Carolingian Lindau Gospels late 9th century

In 751, the Carolingians supplanted the traditional ruling dynasty of Francia. This article surveys Carolingian political rituals between 751 and 800, and argues that ritual was one means through which this new royal family sought to construct and legitimate its authority against its dynastic competitors.

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

Edward Burne-Jones - The Last Sleep of Arthur

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.

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss: Heterosexuality and Its Consolations in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Tolkien

The famous line from that modern romance- “A kiss is just a kiss”- is the message the Gawain-poet gave his listeners six centuries ago.

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