:) asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

What is one strength and one weakness of King Pellinore, in Le Morte D' Arthur?

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  • Jallan
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    1 decade ago
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    In Malory King Pellinor is presented as very worthy knight, and presumably has many strengths.

    Pellinor discourteously takes King Arthur's horse from him. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart018.htm and the following chapter. Pellinior’s discourtesy I supposed counts as a weakness.

    But Pellinor spares Griflet's life when Griflet battles him. ISee http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart020.htm and the following chapter. I suppose that shows mercy.

    But Pellinor afterwards defeats King Arthur in battle, and having found him more of an equal, was ready to slay him. . When Merlin attempted to prevent King Pellinor by revealing that the knight he was fighting was King Arthur, King Pellinor was even more eager to slay him, fearing Arthur’s anger if he let him live. Thereupon Merlin threw him into a magic sleep. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart023.htm and the following chapter.

    In Arthur's battle against King Lot, King Pellinor slew King Lot. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart036.htm . (Malory's source here, the Post-Vulgate Merlin, explains that King Pellinor has come to aid Arthur because of the virtue he has found in him, not because he holds any land from him, which he does not. And Pellinor slays King Lot after Lot has unhorsed King Arthur so roughly that Pellinor believes Arthur is dead.)

    King Pellinor comes to Camelot for King Arthur's marriage feast, where Merlin reveals that Tor, a youth who has been knighted, is not the son of cowherd as he believes, but King Pellinor’s illegitimate son, begotten when King Pellinor took the maidenhead of a milkmaid “half by force”, and then took her dog with him to remind him of his love for her. Is this lust strength or weakness? King Pellinor is then made a Knight of the Round Table. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart048.htm and the following chapter .

    King Pellinor is assigned the task for bringing an abducted huntress damsel back to court. He is so hot on his quest that he fails to respond to the cry for help from a damsel who is seated by a wounded knight. King Pellinor easily achieves his quest, proving again that he is a very good knights, but on his return King Pellinor finds both damsel and knight dead, partly eaten by the beasts of the forests. Upon his return to court, Merlin reveals that the damsel was his own daughter, begotten upon the Lady of the Rule, and that the knight was her fiancé, and that she slew herself with his sword for grief when he died. Pellinor's overeagerness on the quest is probably a weakness. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart057.htm and the following three chapters.

    When he hears that five kings have invaded his land, King Arthur immediately asks for aid from King Pellinor, which perhaps shows that trust Arthur has in him. Arthur later asks King Pellinor for advice in choosing new knights to replace eight Knights of the Round Table who have been slain, suggesting that Arthur respects Pellinor’s wisdom in such matters. For one of the choices, King Pellinor claims to be uncertain of whether to choose his own son Tor or to choose Bagdemagus, but then, after saying he cannot praise Tor because he he his own son, King Pellinor praises him highly, and Arthur choses Tor, which persuades Bagdemagus to leave court in anger. See http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mart/mart062.htm and the following three chapters.

    I suspect your reasoning as to whether one of Pellinor's deeds shows strength or weakness is more important than which deed you pick.

    Most of the “Post-Vulgate Merlin” which is Malory’s source for Pellinor is to be found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=Gak-QYW4Z-QC and http://books.google.com/books?id=fpkCAAAAYAAJ . If you can’t read French, you can find a modern English translation of a medieval Spanish adaption of the part of this work at http://members.terracom.net/~dorothea/baladro/inde... .

    In a later section of the “Post-Vulgate Arthurian Cycle”, of which the “Post-Vulgte Merlin” is part, Bagdemagus defeats Tor in a joust, which proves to Bagdemagus that he was wronged when Tor was chosen in preference to him.

  • King Pellinore is the king of Listenoise or of "the Isles" (possibly Anglesey, or perhaps the medieval kingdom of the same name), according to the Arthurian legend. Son of King Pellam and brother of Kings Pelles and Alain, he is most famous for his endless hunt of the Questing Beast, which he is tracking when King Arthur first meets him. Pellinore beats King Arthur after three jousts and breaks the sword Arthur had withdrawn from the stone (in some versions this is Excalibur, though he gets another sword of that name from the Lady of the Lake soon after.) Merlin throws a spell of enchantment on Pellinore to save Arthur’s life. Arthur praises Pellinore’s skill, and they soon become friends, with Arthur inviting him to join the Knights of the Round Table. He has many legitimate and illegitimate children; his sons Tor, Aglovale, Lamorak, Dornar, and Percival all eventually join the Round Table as well, and his unnamed daughter (see Dindrane) becomes a servant of the Holy Grail and helps Percival, Galahad and Bors achieve the mystical object.

    Pellinore is a major figure in the Post-Vulgate Cycle and the sections of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur based on it. There, he helps Arthur in his early wars against rebelling vassals, but when he kills King Lot of Orkney during the Battle of Tarabel (also called Dimilioc), he sparks a blood feud between his and Lot's family that results in his death and the deaths of many others. Before this, Pellinore is frequently encountered pursuing the Questing Beast, a strange monster with the head of a snake, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion and the feet of a deer. Though he claims his bloodline is destined to perpetually chase the bizarre creature, Sir Palamedes the Saracen takes up the quest, and, according to one version, slays the beast.

    Pellinore was said to have been of the royal line of Joseph of Arimathea, whose dynasty guard the Holy Grail, according to Arthurian lore. Indeed, it is Pellinore’s own son, Percival, who was one of the first Grail seekers, and his grand nephew, Galahad, who finally succeeds in the quest. In the Livre d'Artus (early 13th century), Pellinore is called the "Maimed King" after being wounded by a holy spear, having doubted the powers of the Grail.

    A memorable portrayal of King Pellinore comes from T. H. White's The Once and Future King, where he is a bumbling but endearing old man who can't give up his search for the "Questin' Beast" lest the poor creature die of loneliness. He also tends to say the word "what" after his sentences (Merlyn makes fun of him by stating: "…Or, if I were King Pellinore, I would say 'what what, what?'".)

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