Le Morte Darthur Book 16
Sir Gawain rides throughout the country looking for adventures. That’s where he meets Sir Ector. They talk about seeking a good adventure and decide to ride further together in order to find an adventure. After eight days they arrive at an old chapel and enter it. Sitting there together they both fall asleep. In Sir Gawain’s dream he sees 150 black bulls and tree white ones. Two of them are shining very bright and one of them has a black spot on him. These bulls are all looking for a better “pasture” but they don’t find any. That’s why they depart more and more from each other.
Sir Ector dreams of himself and his brother Lancelot. They two try to find what they “shall not find”. Sir Lancelot arrives at a castle, where there is a wedding, and the king of the castle tells him to leave for there is no place for him. Lancelot moves back to where he came from. Then Sir Ector and Sir Gawain awake and tell each other about their dreams. Then there appears an arm dressed in red cloth with a “brydel” and a burning candle in its hand. But this arm vanishes immediately. That’s why a voice says that they both are evil and therefore not allowed to start the quest of the Holy Grail. Both of them want to look for someone that can explain everything to them, so they ride on. But then there comes a knight and Sir Gawain fights against him. In the end Gawain slays the knight that can be later on detected as Sir Uwain, his own brother that has been on the quest of the Holy Grail. Information about: Family ties of Gawain and Uwain;
Uwain dies and Sir Ector and Sir Gawain burry him in honour. Then they ride to a mountain in order to be advised by Nacien, the eremite. They tell him everything that has happened. And then Nacien explains Sir Gawain’s dream. The meadow in which the bulls are living is the table round. All the black bulls are evil and proud in their minds. Only the two shiny bulls that are Sir Galahad and Sir Percival are of good characters. The one with the spot on it is Sir Bors. All the bulls have to solve the quest of the Holy Grail, but many of them will die in this quest or fall into sin and never come back to Arthur’s court. Information about: morals and sin;
Then the eremite explains Sir Ector’s dream to them. He says that Lancelot has fallen into may sin and that’s why he was servant of the devil for a long time. He can’t reach the Holy Grail anymore. The eremite also tells them about the brydel and the candle. The brydel is a sign of abstinence and the candle is a sign of clearness and Christ. Both of them don’t own these virtues, so they can’t reach the Holy Grail either. Information about: morals and sin;
Sir Gawain asks the eremite why they aren’t able to find any adventures and the old man answers that they are sinners and therefore not able to go on the quest of the Holy Grail. After that Sir Ector leaves the man and Sir Gawain follows him. The two go down the hill and stay at a house for the night. The next day they ride on seeking for any adventure. Information about: morals and sins
Sir Bors goes out of Camelot to seek the Saint Grail. On his way he meets a religious man and follows him into a chapel. There they eat together. The man tells Sir Bors not to eat anything other than water and bread until he sits at the table of the Saint Grail with some of his fellows. Sir Bors accepts this and he also changes his cloths into the ones that the old man gives him. Then Sir Bors rides on and sees a bird that kills himself to feed his little children. With this picture in his mind Sir Bors arrives at a strong and high tower.
Sir Bors is lead into the tower and there he meets a lady that offers him supper. But he only eats bread and drinks water. Then there comes a messenger that says that the lady’s sister will take all her habits until she doesn’t find a knight that fights for her against Pridam le noire, the sister’s champion. When Sir Bors hears about that, he offers his help to fight for the lady. She’s very pleased about that and sends the message to her sister. Information about: Family ties of the lady; virtues and morals;
Sir Bors has two dreams at that night. One about two swans (black and white) and the other about a man that cares for flowers but lets an old tree die. He awakes the next day and the battle is about to start. Sir Bors and Sir Pridam are very strong fighters and they wound each other a lot. In the end Sir Bors wins the battle and he reprieves the other knight that promises to serve the lady of the tower from that time on. Information about: fights and violence; mercy;
Sir Bors departs from the tower and rides into a forest. At this place he is offered two adventures, but he can only solve one. The first one is to save his brother Lionel from being slain and the other one is to save a lady from being raped. So Sir Bors prays to Jesus and to Saint Mary to help him and to choose an adventure for him. Information about: knighthood; religion and praying; purity of women;
Sir Bors decides to help the lady first. He fights against the knight and wins. Having saved the lady he starts to bring her home. On their way twelve knights find them that have been looking for the lady. Sir Bors says goodbye and rides to find and help his brother. In the forest he meets a man that tells him about his brother’s death. Sir Bors is in great pain when he saddles the dead body and brings it to a chapel in order to burry it with the help of the man.
Sir Bors tells the man everything about the two visions and the bird that committed suicide to save its children. The man explains these things to him. He tells Sir Bors that he has to save his cousin Sir Lancelot from dying. Then he brings him to a tower in which he shall stay for the night. In this tower Sir Bors meets a lady that seems to be the perfect fit for him and he has to decide whether to save Lancelot or to stay with the lady. Information about: Family ties of Sir Bors;
The lady prays to Sir Bors to spend the night with her otherwise she and her twelve maiden shall die. This causes great struggle onto Sir Bors, but he tells the lady about Sir Lancelot and that he has to help him. Then he leaves the tower and rides away until he arrives at an abbey. At this place he asks for a preacher to give him some advises, but the man refuses to do so at this night, he wants to talk to him in the morning. Information about: morals and sins;
The next day Sir Bors is allowed to consult the priest. The priest explains the real meaning of Bors’ adventures that have all been fights against the devil and his tricks. Bors’ brother Lionel is still alive and this shows that Bors did everything in the right way. The priest calls him a good knight and servant of Jesus and he compares Bors’ visions and struggles to the life of Jesus. Information about: knighthood; religion and the fight between good and evil;
Sir Bors rides away and arrives at a castle. There will be a tournament between the Earl of plains and the Ladies of Hervin. That’s why Bors thinks he might find his brother Lionel at this place and he starts looking for him. When he finds him and tries to talk to him Lionel gets very angry about his brother being a traitor to him. Lionel wants to fight and kill Bors for this treason. Instead of defending himself Bors instantly cries for mercy but Lionel doesn’t give in. Shortly before he kills Bors there comes a priest and stops him to do so.
Sir Lionel gets so angry about this that he kills the priest. And shortly before he is able to kill Sir Bors there arrives Sir Colgrevaunce, another knight of the table round, and he stops him from killing Sir Bors. Then Lionel and Sir Colgrevaunce fight against each other. When Sir Bors recovers he isn’t sure whom he has to help, but he doesn’t want any of this knights to get slain. Information about: violence; knighthood;
Sir Lionel kills Sir Colgrevaunce and then moves on to Sir Bors. Then Sir Bors prays to god to forgive his defense against his brother and starts to fight against Sir Lionel.
A voice stops Bors from killing his brother and a sudden flame rises between them , that heals Bor’s brother. The voice then asks Bors to travel to the sea to meet Sir Parcival. And after the two brothers forgive each other Bors starts his travel. At night he rests at an old abbey and hears that demanding voice again and he immediately marks himself with a cross on his forehead and picks up his travel. On a beach a ship with white sails is waiting and as soon as he gets on board the ship starts moving (no crew mentioned) very fast. On the ship he finds Sir Parcival sleeping and both men soon recognize each other and are sure God himself brought them together. They talk and pray and the only thing they are missing while the ship travels forwards and backwards is Sir Galahad. (refernces to "prophecies" and "christianity")
Sir Gawain is brother to Sir Uwain, both are knights of the table round. He is looking for adventures, but he is a sinner so he can't go out to seek the Holy Grail. Sir Ector de marys is brother to Sir Lancelot and therefore uncle to Sir Galahad. He also wants to find the Holy Grail, but he is a sinner, too.
Minor Characters: Nacien, the eremite, who explains the dreams of Sir Ector and Sir Gawain. Sir Parcival and Sir Bors that are both mentioned in Sir Gawain's dream. Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad that are both mentioned in Sir Ector's dream.
Chapter 6 - 17:
Main Characters: Sir Bors is Sir Lancelot's cousin and Sir Lyonel's brother. He has to pass many aventures and is tempted by the devil several times. He is a knight of the table round. Sir Lyonel is an evil knight and brother to Sir Bors. He tries to kill him, because he accuses Sir Bors of having denied to help himself. Minor Characters: Sie Colgrevaunce is a knight of the table round and he tries to save Sir BOrs from being slain by Sir Lyonel, but he gets killed during the fight. Several "old men" or priests that explain Sir Bors' dreams and visions. King Anyanse. The Earl of plain; The Ladies of Heruyn; knight Prydam le noyre; two Ladies of towers;