Culture and values of the texts, "Le Morte Darthur" by Malory and "Saint" by Sir Bernard Shaw

Essay by keshala April 2005

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Texts are usually appropriations of another text, it is a rendering to a similar idea or theme. The author of a book may have been inspired by another to write their novel. Hence the ideas of the time in which texts were written or the times in which the story is based in can also be transmitted. Le Morte Darthur by Malory, Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw are just a few examples of texts responding to cultures and values tainted during their time as well the era in which the story is written in.

Sir Thomas Malory (1415-1471) Arthur of the famous and influential version of the legend of King Arthur. The title Le Morte Darthur is taken from the epilogue of William Caxton's landmark illustrated edition of 1485.

In the introduction to the Le Morte Darthur the author refers to himself as a knight prisoner. It is in reference to the fact the most part of Le Morte Darthur had been written whilst Malory was in prison.

The writer of Arthurian myth based on knightly honour, courtly lover and chivalric duty to be himself had been accused of robbery, extortion, attempted murder and rape - felonious acts which have sentiments placed on the pages of Morte. Malory's life story has a resemblance to the legend of king Arthur and it no doubt allowed him to establish such an influential masterpiece.

Malory's interest in the Arthurian legend is revealed in his reworking of the original. There is a prominent theme of sex and violence; he incorporates political reality in to this legend. Corruption and purity continue to flourish in the Arthurian landscape. Arthur's court is shown to be magnificent, yet corruption runs deep within. Secret plots and intrigues flourish, when two knights are found plotting to poison the king it...

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