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THE STORY OF THE GRAIL - Essay Example

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The life of a knight is retold in Perceval; or, The Story of the Grail. This Arthurian tale has a thematic foundation as the knight searches for the Holy Grail. Perceval‘s journey starts from Wales which is his home. …
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THE STORY OF THE GRAIL
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Download file to see previous pages He leaves his mother who has raised him in ignorance of the chivalry of the world around him; this young Welshman travels to find the court of King Arthur. His desire is to be knighted. In a journey that is filled with a lot of adventure, Perceval meets with an older knight who trains him on how to use his newly acquired weapons. He is called Gornemant of Gohort. He tells Perceval to tame his tongue in future. In his travels he also meets his cousin who informs him of his mother’s death from a broken heart. He also encounters his Hermit Uncle in a forest who demystifies the golden grail. He has seen this grail earlier in the manor of a Fisher King he has met in his travels. There are several themes that are advanced in this myth, and this essay aims at examining aspects of this myth to give answers to some questions. Topic 1 From the story of Perceval and the grail, the characteristics of the medieval society may be deduced. One of the aspects revealed of this society is that it was largely religious. It is also clear that the medieval society highly regarded family values. Virtue was also esteemed in the medieval society, as the myth illustrates. These are traits that are brought out by different characters, and events in the tale. The religious nature of this society comes up in several instances. When Perceval encounters Gornemant, one of the things Gornemant advices him to do is to go to church. Gornemant is the gentleman who teaches him the appropriate conduct of a knight. This indicates that the knight is not only concerned with fighting, but also has a spiritual life. Spirituality of the medieval society also comes out when Perceval lodges at the house of the Fisher King. The father of his host is sustained by eating a single mass of wafers each day (Troyes and Cline). Perceval also has an uncle who is a hermit and lives in the forest where he communes with God. It is here that Perceval says the only prayer he knows, one that his mother taught him. He learnt this prayer as a boy, showing that religion takes a vital position in this society. Children are taught the basics of religion from a tender age. The importance of family is revealed severally in this myth. When Perceval meets his cousin weeping under an oak tree, he is concerned about her. His cousin is weeping holding a knight with a chopped head. The one responsible is another knight. He offers to pursue the knight who killed his cousin’s lover, meaning that family is vital to him. Perceval’s mother is also buried before the altar of the hermit, since she was a relation to him by virtue of being married to his brother. Virtue is also an essential part of the society, and people were guided by honour. The maiden who Perceval forces a kiss from is suspected of infidelity by her lover. He then forces her to walk naked as a way of shaming her. This reveals that infidelity was intolerable to the people of that age. When Perceval encounters Blancheflor by coincidence, she relates her encounters. Blancheflor is Gormenant’s niece, and her followers are weak due to famine and hunger (Troyes and Cline). Many of her men have also been attacked and taken away by the evil knight of Clamadeu. Since she is a leader, she has vowed that she would kill herself before letting Clamadeu take her. This is the character of a leader; fighting to the very end. Topic 2 Diana L. Paxon is of the view that the story of the grail is about the search of deeper meaning in life, or its significance. This notion she has on life is true of the scenario as it is in real life. While at the house of the Fisher King, Perceval notices a procession that serves the lord of that castle. He is a man with greying hair, and unable to stand. The items that are brought in by the people walking in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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