But ayenste deth may no man rebell: Death scenes as tools for characterization in Thomas Malorys Morte dArthur. Laura Clark

ISBN: 9780549549420

Published: 2008

ebook

96 pages


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But ayenste deth may no man rebell:  Death scenes as tools for characterization in Thomas Malorys Morte dArthur.  by  Laura Clark

But ayenste deth may no man rebell: Death scenes as tools for characterization in Thomas Malorys Morte dArthur. by Laura Clark
2008 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 96 pages | ISBN: 9780549549420 | 3.23 Mb

A death of some kind occurs on nearly every other page of Thomas Malorys Morte dArthur. While Malory does not usually provide details about these deaths, in a few instances he includes a death scene - an extended narration of a characters finalMoreA death of some kind occurs on nearly every other page of Thomas Malorys Morte dArthur. While Malory does not usually provide details about these deaths, in a few instances he includes a death scene - an extended narration of a characters final thoughts, words, actions, and possibly even funeral and burial rites.

By examining the popular fifteenth-century manual on the art of dying well, the ars moriendi, we can understand medieval attitudes toward death and thus how fifteenth-century readers may have interpreted Malorys death scenes.In the Middle Ages, people commonly believed in a right and wrong way to die. Dying well meant preparing for deaths arrival by putting ones affairs in order, confessing, receiving absolution, and resisting the deathbed temptations of the devil. The ars moriendi developed in the fifteenth century as a manual to assist the dying in achieving this ideal death.The Morte dArthur includes ideal deaths such as the ones delineated by the ars moriendi, but more often it presents imperfect deaths that distort the elements of the ideal and question popular views on dying.

Malory challenges the notion that to die well is to die willingly with the character of Elaine of Astolats self-destructive excess, and he characterizes Merlin and Gawain as morally corrupt through their failure as bedside attendants. He addresses the implications of murder and explores how even a murderer can achieve redemption if he shows true contrition.

Malory ends his book on a hopeful note, much like the ars moriendi, focusing not on the downfall of the chivalric kingdom, but on the promise of a new age after the death of Arthur.



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