(King Arthur) Essay, Research Paper
Reflections of Knights and Their Archetypal Damsels
In The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, there are many different relationships between knights and their damsels. The damsels, in some ways, reflect in different ways throughout the knights. Some example of knights and their damsels are Merlin and Nyneve, Ewain and Lyne, and Sir Accolon and Morgan Le Fay.
Nyneve is a character which reflects Merlin throughout the story. Merlin was a marvelous magician who longed to love and to be loved by Nyneve. Nyneve is a well rounded character in this story. She reflects Merlin’s weaknesses by him teaching her his magic, when he knew that it would result in his downfall. Merlin states:
Even I, who know beyond doubt that my death will be caused by a silly girl, will not hesitate when that girl passes by. (96)
She uses his love for her as an advantage in getting his magic. However, she also reflects his strength and wisdom by taking his magic and also taking on the responsibilities of watching over the king.
Ewain choose Lyne to be his damsel while questing in the Forest of Arroy. Ewain was the youngest out of the knights, therefore, less experienced and not as strong as the other knights made a wise decision in choosing Lyne. He figured that she would reflect her wisdom on him, since she had seen more and could teach him more. She trained him
tediously and taught him to be a wise fighter and how to capitalize on his opponents’ mistakes. Lyne’s teachings were reflected in the way he fought against his opponents. For example, when he fights against Sir Gogh and Sir Edward, he defeats them by using wisdom and his opponents’ weaknesses. Lyne was very proud of her knight, because he
had become a noble and honored knight.
Sir Accolon and Morgan Le Fay relate to each other merely by enchantment and evil. Morgan Le Fay was King Arthur’s extremely, jealous sister who wanted Sir Accolon to help her commit treason on King Arthur. She was cruel and cold-hearted towards King Arthur, and Accolon also reflected this while in deep enchantment. Their relationship was based on treason and adultery, but they believed that they were in love with each other. She reflected the evil and darkness which came to Sir Accolon by enchantment. For example, her enchantment was so overwhelming that he reached the point of treason without thought. She promised him that if he would help kill King Arthur, he would reign with her over England. Therefore, he was tricked into fighting King Arthur. She also reflects a false sense of security while fighting by giving him Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword. Her plan failed, and Accolon was left dead from wounds inflicted from battle.
In conclusion, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights show reflection throughout the stories. They related to their knights in different ways, thus, the reflections of each pair differed. Some examples were given, while others were easier to see. Merlin and Nyneve, Ewain and Lyne, and Sir Accolon and Morgan Le Fay reflect the archetypal relationship between damsels and knights.