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The Arthurian Way of Death


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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


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


First Published: 19 Nov 2009
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843842088
4 black and white illustrations
Pages: 278
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  'But here Geoffrey falls silent': Death, Arthur, and the Historia regum Britannie
  • 3  Mordred's Sons
  • 4  Dying in Uncle Arthur's Arms and at His Hands
  • 5  'Hadet with an aluisch mon' and 'britned to noght': Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Death, and the Devil
  • 6  Love and Death in Arthurian Romance
  • 7  Death in the Margins: Dying and Scribal Performance in the Winchester Manuscript
  • 8  The Legible Corpses of Le Morte Darthur
  • 9  Malory and the Death of Kings: The Politics of Regicide at Salisbury Plain
  • 10  Layde to the Colde Erthe: Death, Arthur's Knights, and Narrative Closure
  • 11  Arthurian Exits: Alone, Together, or None of the Above
  • 12  Woman as Agent of Death in Tennyson's Idylls of the King
  • 13  Death as 'Neglect of Duty' in Howard Pyle's The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur
  • 14  Death and the 'grimly voice' in David Jones's In Parenthesis
  • 15  Roll the Final Credits: Some Notes on Cinematic Depictions of the Death of Arthur