Le Morte D Arthur Character Analysis

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The legend of King Arthur has stood the test of time. To say that only one element of the story has contributed to its entire longevity would be a false statement. The story encapsulates the true essence of human nature, which is riddled with internal conflict and the desire to do good. Everyone can feel a connection with themes of love, betrayal, loyalty, and temptation, which is why King Arthur and his knights remain so relevant. However, there are characters who are often overlooked while offering a substantial contribution to the plot. Arthurian stories always show a strong male presence and minor female roles, which I believe has prolonged its success as it perpetuates and normalizes the role of women in society. For hundreds of years, even millennia, society has succumbed to a patriarchal power often stating that women should be deemed as the weaker gender. It is often thought that women are incapable of protecting themselves and need the protection of men …show more content…
However, women do not seem to have a clear purpose in the story. They are depicted looking for love, a good knight, or tricking men. This depiction suggests that women’s sole purpose in the story is to cause conflict and be an obstruction for the knights. Elaine of Astolat’s death is an example of the lack of purpose in a woman’s life. In her not she writes,” … Sir Launcelot, now hath death made us two at debate for your love. I was your lover…” (Book VII) Elaine of Astolat realizes her love was not reciprocated. Therefore, without her love interest, there was no reason for her to keep living. Queen Guinevere states, “Ye might have shewed her, said the queen, some bounty and gentleness that might have preserved her life.” (Book VII) Guinevere attempts to hold Lancelot responsible. However, it emphasizes the dependency that women can have on men. This notion is not different from what is experienced in today’s