Conclusion: Malory’s Questing Beast and the Geography of the Arthurian World
We began this book with an introduction that considered the important role that waterways play in the narrative of the Morte Darthur. Rivers, channels, seas, oceans—they all help define borders and contain peoples, while simultaneously providing quick access across and beyond them. Cornwall’s status as both central part of Arthur’s kingdom and marginal realm is in part a result of the river Tamar’s division of this territory from the rest of “England”; Tristram and Marhault, knight of Ireland, fight one another on an island between Cornwall and that green isle to the west; the dead bodies of women float along waterways as markers of territorial boundaries; Arthur’s channel crossing during the campaign to conquer Rome is marked by mysterious dreams and omens that come to him on board ship; the Grail knights speed to Sarras in the course of an afternoon.
KeywordsRound Table Source Text Board Ship Beast Function Arthurian Romance
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