"King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" is Howard Pyle’s book about the British legend of king Arthur. This time Pyle wrote about prisoners of honor, love and faith that are the biggest values of the Order of Knights. Lancelot, Tristan and Percival are one of the most famous knights who belonged to the previously mentioned order.
The three knights are linked together by their birth, hard struggle in the knight’s world and a misfortunate ending. The knights have a veil of secrets surrounding them and something supernatural is in their personalities. Plye finds characteristics in them which bring them closer to his reads who, in their behavior pattern, find the living ideal. The human dimension is settled in their hearts because they are vulnerable emotionally and physically, they fall in love, suffer and have dilemmas. The knights are torn apart between their duties and emotions. Their relationships with each other are shown through a series of love and hate relationships, confrontations, adventures and the never-ending struggle between right and wrong.
Two basic themes that start the plot and the characters are the physical side of human beings manifested through faith in love between a man and a woman and the other one is the spiritual side of human beings manifested through the search of the Holy Grail which represents the ideal of any Christian life. The Christian motive is present in Plye’s work as a way of him taking care of the readers by saying that he’ll pray for us to achieve the knight’s magnitude of living.
Today legends about knights are subjects of historic research, structure folklore, and many other artistic works. For us they are a warm, romantic reminder of the values lost nowadays. Not only are they a reminder but they also bring nostalgic memories of out childhood when we fought for our ideals.
Genre: chivalry novel
Place: England, woods, castles, islands
Theme: the adventures of The Knights of the Round Table
Motives: nobility and people’s kindness, the importance of chivalry
The story of Lancelot
Sir Lancelot was a king’s child whose destiny was cruel. His father Benwick was a noble reign, and he was a friend of King Arthur. His life was completed by his wife Helen and his son Lancelot.
His happiness was ruined by king Claudas, who was his enemy, who send a big army to his castle. Benwick asked Arthur for help and instead of sending a messenger he went to him to make sure that his message will be delievered. While he was traveling he found out that his castle was burned to the ground and the news killed him. His wife Helena went to look for him and left Lancelot and when she came back with her husband’s corps she found Lady of the Lake holding her weak son. Lady told Helena that she had no intention of giving Lancelot back until the time was right. Helena went away escorted by nuns to recover and Lancelot had many new, exciting adventures ahead of him.
One summer day king Artur went hunting with sir Erwain and sir Ector when he met a beautiful fairy which led him to Lady of the Lake. In her mansion Lancelot and Arthur met for the first time. Lancelot’s identity as well as Lady of the Lake’s and Sir Pellinore’s had a veil of mystery around them. During a feast Lady of the Lake asked Arthur to make Lancelot a knight and take him away. Before the festive ceremony Lancelot was bathed and sir Erwaine was present and he noticed a star shaped omen on Lancelot’s shoulder. When the ceremony was than Lady of the Lake advised Lancelot to stay on the down low until everyone hears of his great acts and reminds him of his royal ancestry.
Sir Erwain told sir Ector about the omen when saw on Lancelot’s shoulder and Ector becomes aware of the fact that Lancelot was his brother. He kept his new finding a secret. Arthur arrived to his castle and through the Round Table he verified the authenticity of Lancelot’s alleged chivalry and great deeds. Lancelot did many honorable acts, confirmed his magnitude and he was recognized by the masses as a good man. Even though he was with King Arthur, his spirit pushed him to explore the world. Queen Guinevere recognized his positivity and the two of them became friends. Their friendship wasn’t gossip free because many talked about her seeing more than a friend in Lancelot but the author denied such allegations because he relied on Lancelot’s honesty and honor.
After he gained Arthur’s permission to go wondering he took his cousin Lionel as his chaperone. Since it was a nice day they’ve decided to rest under a tree. Lancelot was napping while Lionel was keeping guard. After some time he heard some noise and then he noticed three knights being chased by The Black Knight. Seeing his brutal actions the only thing left to do was defend their honor. Through talking Lionel found out that the man was sir Turquine who hunted the Knights of the Round Table and threw them into dungeons. He challenged him to a dual and Lionel lost.
In the meantime in Arthur’s castle, sir Ector felt sorry about not being with his brother and he asked the king to let him go look for Lancelot because he believed that in a day or two he’ll catch up with him. On his way he saw an old man who told him that he hadn’t seen any knights and that all adventure seekers should go to the nearby castle and find a brass bowl, When someone hits the brass bowl the adventure begins. When sir Ector did it instead of and adventure he found Black Knight and soon he was one of his victims despite his fight. Due to Ector’s courage, The Black Knight offered him to be his servant but Ector’s pride didn’t allow him to take the offer. The captured knights realized that their only hope was sir Lancelot.
Meanwhile Lancelot was still sleeping under the tree while Queen Morgan, sworn enemy of king Arthur, was passing by. She sent her servant to see who the knight under the tree was. When she found out it was sir Lancelot Morgan decided to use him to get her revenge but the ring on Lancelot’s finger was stopping her plan so she just kidnapped him.
Lancelot woke up in her castle and he wasn’t sure if he was dream or if he was awake but soon he came to the realization that he was held captive as a slave. In the evening a young girl brought him dinner and warned him about the hostility between the members of the castle. Soon Queen Morgan came and Lancelot begged her to let him go so that he could find his cousin Lionel. She told her that if she cared so much about keeping him as her hostage that he will come back as soon as he tells his cousin that he was alive and well. Morgan asked for a proof of him returning and she wanted the ring. Lancelot sadly denied and Queen Morgan got furious. Lancelot soon found another way out in the girl who brought him meals. She promised to help him if he helps her father in return. She Elouisa and her father was King Bagedgamus. Her father had a dual arranged with the king of South Walles and he was already defeated by him in the past. She asked him to be on her father’s side and Lancelot accepted. Elouisa told him that she’ll wait for him in Saint James’s abbey where she gave him an armor and freedom.
While leaving the castle of Queen Morgan, Lancelot met some men who offered him some water. He went back to the apple tree under which he was sleeping. There he found a girl and asked her about Lionel and any nearby adventures. She told him about two adventures and asked him to do one of them as a favor to her. The first one involved sir Turquin who had all of the Knights of Round Table captured and the second one involved the meanest knight in the whole land whose life purpose was to terrorize knights, passengers and women.
Lancelot first went to fight sir Turquin and, as all of his other opponents, he first hit the brass bowl. Sir Turquine came accompanied by sir Gharis. Soon sir Lancelot found out that he was the knight sir Turquine was after because during Lancelot’s liberation of a certain castle he killed sir Turquine’s brother and he was angry with him. Turquin and Lancelot fought long and so hard that even their horses died in the dual. They fought with swords and caused each other many wounds. The weakened sir Turquin asked Lancelot to allow him to drink some water and Lancelot granted his wish. When it was Lancelot’s turn to ask for water, sir Turquine denied his request and forbid him to go to the wheel. Lancelot was furious, his honor was hurt and he felt defrauded. In his fury he used all of his remaining power to go after Turquine and in the end he decapitated him.
Lancelot sent sir Gharis to free late sir Turquine’s hostages and they robbed his whole castle. The gold was meant to redeem the sufferings the knights went through in the castle. The girl and Gharis asked Lancelot to stay because he was heavily wounded and someone had to look after him. Lancelot was stubborn in his decision to go look for new adventures. He took sir Gharis’s horse and when sir Lionel, sir Ector and sir Kay heard about it they followed him.
The girl who told Lancelot about the adventures managed to convince him to stay in her brother’s castle. She presented herself as Croisette and her brother was sir Hilaire. The two of them welcomed knights in a proper way and after he recovered he headed for a new adventure alongside Croisette. During the journey Croisette and sir Lancelot became friends through talks about their childhood and Lancelot explained why he served Queen Guinevere and not others.
Since the meanest knight of them all hunted his victims while they were traveling the two of them came up with a plan to destroy him. Croisette was supposed to lure the knight while Lancelot was supposed to be hiding in the woods. Their plan was proven to be very intelligent. Sir Perris attacked Croisette and soon a dual began in which sir Perris lost. He begged Lancelot to spare him his life and Lancelot decided to do so under one humiliating condition. He set sir Perris’s hostages free and gave them Perris’s fortune. Sir Perris’s punishment was that he had to follow them naked all the way to sir Hilaire’s castle where he was tied down to a horse and sent to king Arthur who was supposed to decide what to do with him. Lancelot said goodbye to his hosts and headed off for a new adventure in which he wanted to keep his promise to Elouise and stand on her father’s side during his dual.
As promised, Lancelot came to keep his word. Elouise sent a servant to get her father, king Bagdemagus, who was surprised by her call. When he came he was even more shocked but in a good way when he found out which knight will be standing on his side. They were planning their victory together. Lancelot asked around about the Knights of the Round Table and he picked the best three of them. Sir Lancelot took their armors and painted the white to camouflage them so that the opponents would know who they were dealing with. The plan was to let the king fight first and as thing would heat up the knights would come to help him. Many people came to see the tournament and enjoy the duals. King Bagdemagus didn’t have a lot of advantage since he was outnumbered by the opponent’s men but despite that sir Lancelot was wise and skilful enough to outsmart and defeat three of the best opponent’s knights and bring King Bagdemagus glory. The King asked him to stay at his castle for a while but he rejected it adding that he was always at his daughter’s service even if he is at the end of the world because his gratitude to her was never-ending.
Many days passed by since the bit tournament and Lancelot was wandering around in search of new adventures. He enjoyed the beauty of nature, the charms of the beautiful weather until his attention was taken away by a falcon who obviously flew away from his owner. A young lady ran out of a nearby castle and she was the falcon’s owner. The lady asked sir Lancelot to help her catch the falcon so that she could return him to her master, if her master found out that the falcon was gone she will suffer an extreme punishment because this was his favorite falcon. Sir Lancelot helped the young lady even though he didn’t like climbing trees.
Soon after Lancelot took the falcon off of the tree his owner, knight Phelot, the brother of the disgraced knight Perris, came. He threatened to kill Lancelot and he didn’t allow him to take his sword which he had left on the ground when he went to climb up the tree. Lancelot managed to fight with a tree branch by making a cudgel out of it. Sir Phelot’s actions offended Lancelot’s honor and he couldn’t take it anymore. He beat sir Phelot unconscious and the young lady begged to keep him alive. He didn’t want to spare his life but he did it anyway and he reproached the young lady for not defending him in front of Phelot. After that Lancelot left in search of other adventures.
He came across a castle which was occupied by giants. The citizens of the city wanred Lancelot not to risk his life but he managed to beat the giants and save the castle’s owner. He rode out of town on his horse before the castle’s owner found the time to thank him for his heroic act. Lancelot wasn’t keen on accepting praises and acknowledgements. He thought that the sole purpose of his existence was protecting the innocent and making the world a better place.
One day, at early twilight, sir Lancelot came to an old noblewoman’s estate. The noblewoman didn’t know him by name but she knew for sure that one day a knight of great significance will come to her. She welcomed him and let him spent the night in her house. During the night he was woken up by loud banging on the main doors. Sir Lancelot looked out the window and saw that the noise was made by a chased knight. He was attacked by three knights. Sir Lancelot instinctively felt the need to right a wrong so he stepped outside and easily defeated all three knights. He found out that the attacked knight was sir Kay and that he was attacked out of revenge for defeating a brother from one of the three attackers.
After saving him Lancelot took Sir Kay to the castle so he could get some rest. He decided to pull out a prank and exchange their armors. Lancelot, dressed like Sir Kay, went to Camelot to check up on King Arthur and his friends, the Knights of the Round Table. He stumbled across a group of knights who seemed to be sir Gunther, Sir Gylmere and Sir Raynold. They invited him to eat with them and when he rejected their offer the knights got offended. Since they thought that Lancelot was Sir Kay who got arrogant they decided to teach him a lesson, one at a time. It’s redundant to say that they were the ones who were thought a lesson by Sir Lancelot and his weapon. After them four more knights attacked him and they ended up like the ones before them. During dinner at King Arthur the misfortunate event was retold. Everyone had a good laugh, except for the defeated knights.
The Book of Tristan
Tristan was born in cold woods, under sad circumstances, just like his colleague Sir Lancelot. His parents, Elizabeth and Meliadus, reined the kingdom of Lyonesse and loved each other thoroughly. In their kingdom lived a sorceress who fell in love with King Meliadus and with her viciousness she brought inquietude into their marriage. In order to trick King Meliadus she lured him into her house by sending a beautiful white deer. Elizabeth was desperate in search of her husband but she didn’t get far due to the coldness in the woods. She died because of it and before her death she gave birth to Tristan.
King Meliadus returned to the castle and grieved for seven years for his Elizabeth. He was advised to get remarried and have another child because with Tristan as his only son he didn’t have a sure heir. He listened to his counselors and brought Moeya and her only son to his castle. He and Tristan got along well but the queen was determined to make her son heir to the throne so she had to get rid of Tristan. Moeya was also jealous of Tristan’s kindness and charm.
Queen Moeya knew that the boys played every day and got thirsty so she left a bucket of poisoned water. The person who drank it had no chance of surviving. She didn’t count on her son drinking the water and passing away too. The faith decided to make her son drink first and it ended his life. Instead of repenting for her deed she was even more furious and started plotting again against Tristan. She faked a peace between them and as a sign of her peace she offered him a poisoned drink. King came at the right time and wanted to drink some of it but the Queen stopped him. She confessed to her sins and begged for forgiveness. The King let others decided her faith and their verdict was to burn her alive.
Tristan felt sorry for her and asked his father to do him a favor and spare her life. King Meliadus couldn’t say no to his son but he was reluctant to grant his wish because he found it inappropriate for Tristan to get involved with his decision. To save face, the King banished Tristan from his castle and Tristan obeyed his father.
His journey led him to France where he became a hunter. He wrote many books about hunting and he was also prone to writing about art. He was a talented writer and harp player. After a while he went back home disguised as a harp player. His father was astonished by his talent. The king told him that he’ll grant him one wish and Tristan asked to be accepted back to the castle. The king was surprised by his wish and then Tristan uncovered his real identity. His father welcomed him with joy and he managed to make peace between him and Moeya. The king decided to declare Tristan a knight because of his kindness. Tristan rejected him because he wanted to earn the title. He felt guilty about being named a knight while he sits around and does nothing. King Meliadus approved of his point of view and gave him the permission to go and wander the world in search of adventures and to become a honorable knight.
Tristan’s uncle Mark’s misfortune gave Tristan a chance to begin his quests. King Mark had a dispute about Cornwall and Ireland and he had to pay King Marhaus a lot of money. He sent a messenger to find someone willing to defend his honor. His messenger came to Lyonesse and found Tristan who was ready to fight. When Tristan went to fight King Marhaus, his uncle warned him about Marhaus’s strength and declared Tristan a knight. After a long dual in which Tristan was heavily wounded he managed to confirm the title he was given. However, due to immaturity and first wounding, Tristan was getting worse by the minute. Finally he confessed his true identity to King Mark and told him he was his sister’s son. King would have rather died at that moment than let something bad happen to his nephew.
King Marhaus returned to Ireland and he died because of a hard blow to the head. While they were changing his bandages, the Queen of Ireland, found a piece of sword lodged in his wound and she swore to hurt the knight to which sword the piece will fit.
Tristan’s wound was getting worse and the King sent his messengers to find someone who could cure him but they didn’t find anyone. One old, wise lady advised the king to take Tristan to the daughter of the king of Ireland named Isolde because she was the only one competent enough to cure him. They followed her advice and took Tristan to her. When Tristan came to the castle he played the harp and with his divine voice he attracted Isolde. She told a servant to get her parents so they could see Tristan’s exceptional talent. The king, after hearing him, wanted to give him a job as an entertainer. Tristan said the actual reason for his arrival but, due to safety reasons, he kept his true identity for himself and presented himself with a false name.
Isolde cured his wounds with pleasure and with time feelings started developing between the two of them. Knight Palamydes also like Isolde and he was ruining their love because he wanted her all for himself. Even though Tristan was physically weak he knew his duty was calling him and he had to defend the honor of the woman he loved. He decided to put Palamydes to his place at the upcoming tournament. He asked Isolde to keep their pact a secret and she asked her father to host the tournament in Palamydes honor.
The tournament was a real chivalric competition. Hundreds of important knights came from all around including some Knight of the Round Table. All of the knights were extraordinary and their skills were praised everywhere but two knight stood out – Sir Palamydes and Sir Tristan who defeated their opponents without breaking a sweat. It was time for the two of them to fight and Tristan was quite superior to Palamydes which caught the king’s attention. He asked his daughter who was fighting with Palamydes and she told him it was the knight she had been taking care of for days.
After many blows Palamydes started to back down and in the end his servants had to drag him out. He was disgraced. Later on Tristan caught up with him and offered a chance for a rematch which could help Palamydes clear his name. He took it as an insult and got furious. He attacked Tristan but soon his actions were proven to be completely wrong. He left unarmed, disgraced, embarrassed and Isolde’s love seemed like an unreachable goal. When Tristan came back to the castle, the knig received him with honors and the queen drew a bath for him to recover.
While Tristan was relaxing in his bath the queen and Isolde went to see the sword with which he beat their enemy. The sword uncovered Tristan’s real identity. When Isolde realized who he really was she screamed and went to King Angus demanding justice. He invited Tristan to his chamber to solve the problem. There was nothing left for Tristan but to admit his true origins and explain how and why he ended up in Ireland. Luckily, King Angus was a reasonable man and justified Tristan’s actions by explaining his duty todefend his uncle’s honor. He advised him to leave the castle because too many people wanted to see him dead. Tristan took his advice and said goodbye to Isolde in tears.
He went back to his uncle’s castle where he was greeted with honors. As days passed by the sadness in Tristan’s heart got bigger. He spent his days singing about Isolde. The king listened to his songs, and they will later on, alongside his feelings, be fatal for Tristan. Even though the king loved his nephew, some toxic feelings were growing inside of him.
In the meantime, the knights of Cornwall were said to be the weakest knight in the whole world. Sir Bleoberis took advantage of those rumors and during a feast he drank a bit too much and offended his hosts by taking an expensive goblet and challenging the knights to a dual. He took it and asked if there was a knight brave enough to get it back and of course there was – it was Tristan. He caught up with Sir Bleoberis and defeated him but he still had respect for him because he knew Bleoberis was Sir Lancelot’s cousin whose fan Tristan was. He came back to the castle and his colleagues praised him. For Mark that was the final drop and his hate for Tristan got even bigger. Knights’ praising of Tristan was too much for him so he decided to get his revenge by defrauding Tristan. He asked Isolde’s hand in marriage despite Tristan’s love for her. Tristan was in a dilemma whether he should listen to the king or his heart so he went to Ireland. On his way there he stopped in Camelot which started a new adventure and a new friendship for him.
He got to meet his idol Lancelot and he became his friend. Except for him, he met Sir Morgan and Sir Ector. All of them headed to Tristan’s tent and later on even King Arthur joined them. Tristan gave them the honor of hearing him sing. While they were talking Governail, Tristan’s knight chaperone, whispered to him that King Angus was coming to Arthur’s castle in need of a knight who’ll defend his honor. After Tristan arrived to the castle sir Bertrand, chaperon of sir Balmore, came and they participated in a tournament. They defeated all of their opponents and the Irish knights were furious. Later on Sir Bertrand was found dead in a forest. Everyone assumed that King Angus killed him.
Sir Tristan decided to defend King Angus’s honor and prove his innocence. In return the king will grant him any wish. Tristan had a hard time saying his wish because he wanted Isolda’s hand in marriage but not for himself but for his uncle. That turn of events got King Angus confused because he knew how much Tristan loved Isolde but he had to grant his wish. The day of the dual arrived. Angus presented Tristan as his hostage to King Arthur. A lot of people gathered to cheer for the noble knights. The dual between Tristan and Balmore was hard on Balmore and when Tristan realized he couldn’t fight anymore he asked him to surrender. Balmore chose death over surrender and then something unexpected occurred. Tristan threw his sword away and let Balmore do whatever he wanted with his life. Balmore was surprised by his actions and he wanted to know his name. When he find out he was fighting with Tristan he surrendered to him but not out of hate but out of love.
The crowd was out of their minds with happiness, Angus’s name was clear and Tristan earned himself a spot at the Round Table. His happiness was short lasting because Angus also had to keep his word and his biggest problem was telling Isolde the news. The news was hard for her and she believed Tristan betrayed her. Tristan felt the need to serve his master even though he would rather be dead than giving up on Isolde.
The next day Angus sent her daughter away on a beautifully decorated ship. Lady Bargwaine and her mother accompanied her. The Queen came up with a way to ease her daughter’s pain. She sent Bargwaine to bring the wine mixed with a love potion. The people who drank it together will forever be bound by love. Isolde took advantage of the potion. She took it to Tristan and offered him to drink with her. As soon as he drank it fire went through his body and he knew that the both of them were in trouble. Isolde told him she’ll rather be miserable with him than happy with anyone else.
After everything Tristan spent some time in the castle because King Mark ordered him to do so. Marka took every opportunity to make Tristan miserable. Tristan’s glory was increasing and so was the king’s hate and jealousy. Tristan wanted to get his mind off of everything so he went hunting. There he met Sir Lamorak and soon they became close like brothers are. To honor their new friendship they exchanged rings as a sign of eternal friendship. Tristan gave him an emerald ring. Together they went to Tintagel where a few knight duals were held for Lamorak.
Sir Lamorak acquired glory by beating all of the Cornwall knights who would dare to fight him. King Mark found it to be a disgrace so he sent Tristan to right that wrong. He rejected him by saying that Lamorak was tired of all of the duals and that it wouldn’t be fair to challenge him to another one. Nevertheless, the king insisted and wanted to get everything his way. Since he didn’t know the whole story between sir Tristan and sir Lamorak, Tristan’s rejection came across as a betrayal. When Tristan knocked sir Lamorak off of his horse and rejected to keep on fighting him, the king was even more offended.
Sir Lamorak left Tintagel and went to Camelot by a ship. The ship got caught in a huge storm and it sunk. Lamorak managed to survive by swimming to a nearby island that was ruled by a vicious knight. The fisherman saved him but they wanted something in return for keeping him alive and it was the ring. When they got what they wanted they handed him over to the executioner who then spared his life. Sir Lamorak was already humiliated enough and then he ended up working as a swineherd and humiliated himself even more.
In the meantime, Sir Lancelot was in Cornwall when he received a letter in which someone stated everything about the non-chivalric behavior toward Sir Lamorak. Tristan went directly to Camelot with the intention of explaining everything. While he was travelling, he took a break in a certain widow’s castle. Her husband was killed by a vicious knight and Sir Lamorak was his servant at the time. The knight didn’t only murder her husband but he also took away their property. Tristan, as a sign of gratitude, wanted to help the widow so he went to the island to confront the vicious knight. He confronted him and won. He wanted to exterminate the evil in the world so he decapitated the knight and his son. After he won he liberated all of knight’s servants and gave them the knight’s wealth so that they could start over. He even named a new administrator of the widow’s estate.
Sir Tristan gathered everyone to make them plead their loyalty to the new administrator. While he was talking to them he noticed a woman wearing the emerald ring he gave to sir Lamorak. He asked her where she got the ring and she told him that he should talk about it with her husband who was a fisherman. After his conversation with the fisherman he found out everything about sir Lamorak and the unfortunate turn of events in his life. Tristan ordered them to bring him Lamorak but told them that they should first wash them and dress him as a knight because that was what he really was. When they saw each other, they hugged and made peace. Together they went to sir Lancelot where Lamorak cleared Tristan’s named and testified about Tristan being an honorable and respectful knight.
They stayed in the castle for a year when they got some upsetting news from a messenger from Cornwall. Sir Palamydes who was a Saracen defrauded everyone and took Isolde. He locked her up in a tower in Cornwall’s forest. Tristan decided to go and save the woman he loves. He was surprised when he came to the tower because there he found sir Palamydes sitting in front of it with his head down. Isolde took advantage of sir Palamydes’s fight with some other knights to lock the doors of the tower so that he couldn’t get in or harm her. For sir Tristan this was an advantage because he was able to defeat sir Palamydes in no time and take Isolde back to safety. When they came back to the castle, everyone celebrated yet another one of Tristan’s victories and king Mark, already crazy with jealousy, wished for Tristan to die.
Many loved Tristan but there were also many who found his honesty, honor and success an obstacle. One of them was sir Andred who was strong but hateful to the bone. He was a proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because he was king Mark’s nephew and both of them shared a mutual enemy – sir Tristan. King Mark ordered him to spy on Tristan and he did. One day he approached Tristan saying that Isolde was waiting for him because she needed to talk to him. After that he told the king that his wife was with Tristan. The king rushed down and attacked Tristan. Instead of hurting him, Tristan only gave him a few hits and he also defended himself from the knights who were trying to defend the king.
Tristan knew that there was no place for him in the castle anymore, so he had to leave. He said goodbye to everyone, including his faithful chaperone Gouvernail and his sane mind. He went on wandering the forest, starved and half-naked until Lady Loisa found him. She lured him to her castle by playing the flute, but Tristan didn’t stay there long. After leaving her, sir Tristan ended up with the swineherds.
A window of opportunities opened up to Sir Andred after Tristan’s departure. He took advantage of his absence to declare him dead.
He did it to gain his properties but to do it he had to have proof of his death. Sir Andred paid off a lady to testify about sir Tristan’s alleged death and funeral. When Isolde heard that sir Tristan was dead she was devastated and called death to come for her too. In the end Tristan was found by sir Lancelot who brought him back to Tintagel. There Tristan spent some time completely under the radar and then his memory started to come back to him. The beautiful Isolde recognized him and screamed in joy when she realized that he wasn’t dead. Tristan calmed her down because he knew that her over-the-moon happiness will lead to further problems.
Unfortunately, he was right. Sir Andred spotted them and told everything to king Mark. Tristan was held captive and then he was given to Andred’s mercy. Andred now finally had the opportunity to gloat. He slapped Tristan and even though Tristan’s hand were tied he managed to slap him back. Sir Andred’s sword fell to the ground and then Tristan took it and stabbed him to death. Tristan liberated himself and through the window he jumped into the sea. Now everyone really believed he was dead but again he wasn’t because sir Gouvernail and sir Santrail managed to save him. He armed himself and took Isolde from Tintagel.
Lancelot came to Titagel and asked about the poor young man he brought there. When he found out it was Tristan and found out what has been done to him he got furious and got into a fight with the king. He went after him to the castle where Tristan took Isolde. Sir Lancelot took both of them to his castle and provided them with protection against king Mark.
One day king Arthur came and during a feast he started talking to Isolde. He wanted to know was it better for her to live honorably in sadness of dishonorably in happiness? Isolde then realized she belonged with her husband king Mark. King Arthur made peace between all of them and their life went on. Isolde despised king Mark and it caused anger in him because she was so close yet so far away. The situation took on a whole new turn when he sent a spy to see what were Isolde and Tristan up to. They weren’t doing anything special, they were actually playing chess. Mark couldn’t take it anymore so he killed Tristan. Isolde, without a single scream, dropped dead to the ground. Lady Bargwain screamed and many knights gathered and one of them was sir Alexander. He was furious and killed king Mark. Tristan and Isolde were buried together. The legend says that from Tristan’s grave grew roses all the way to Isolde’s. Tristan’s destiny was as sad as his name and so the story of their great love ends.
Book of Percival
King Pellinore was, after the rebellion against King Arthur, banished into the wilderness. He took his wife and his four sons with him: Lamorack, Aglaval, Dornar and Percival. Percival was still a child while his brothers were much older. Lamorack was living in King Arthur’s castle and Percival was the only child left. In order to keep his only remaining son alive the queen took him to the mountains and kept him isolated from the world until he was older. He hoped Percival will never dream of becoming a knight.
Percival didn’t have access to knight’s armor or sword but as a child he had a lot of talent. His mother lived peaceful until one day they were visited by someone Percival called angels. He saw five of them and they took his breath away. He started asking them about their equipment. He was completely consumed with their appearance and he wanted to become one of them. His mother, clearly disappointed, sad and frightened, let him go. She gave him a horse, some food and his father’s ring. Also, she gave him some advices which will make him seem weird to the rest of the world but he still took them. They were: if he comes to a chapel or a church he has to pray, if he sees someone in need he must help, if he meets a lady he must greet her with respect, if he’s hungry or thirsty he must eat, if he find treasure he can only take it without hurting anyone but he also has to share it with someone. She told him that if he follows those advices he will become as great as his father was. Percival promised her he’ll, in the case he acquires glory and wealth, come back for her and take her to a better life. With joy in his heart and escorted with his mother’s tears he decided to be become a knight and see the world.
Before going into any quest he had to find some equipment in order to look the same as the other knights. He made an armor and it caused passengers to laugh at him and many called him crazy. Since he spent many years isolated he perceived their reactions as something positive. Late in the afternoon he came to a tent which he thought was a chapel and he started praying. He entered and found Lady Yvette, the daughter of the fisherman’s king. She warned him he’ll be punished if the king finds him in the tent but Percival went to the table to eat because his mother told him to do so. She found him amusing and he made her laugh. He exchanged rings with her and asked her to wear it until he’ll be good enough for her. He said goodbye to her and kept going.
King Arthur was hunting with some of his knights and queen Guinevera was with him but she got tired of following her husband around so she ordered them to set up a tent for her. Percival saw it and asked a man whose it was. When he heard the name King Arthur he immediately asked about his brother. The man made fun of him and called him crazy. Percival didn’t quite understand him. He kicked the man and walked into the tent. Sir Kay and Guinevera were there. Sir Kay made fun of him while the queen was entertained by his behavior. There would be a conflict between them if a worse thing didn’t happen.
The infamous knight Sir Boindegardus, Arthur’s enemy, came into the tent. When he saw Arthur wasn’t there, he attacked the queen. Firs the verbally assaulted her and then he spilled wine on her. Sir Kay didn’t have the courage to protect her, so Percival fought him when sir Boindegardus tried to take a jug as a sign of victory out of the tent. Guinevera gave Percival the permission to become her protector and defend her honor.
In the queen’s castle lived a beautiful girl that was called Mute because she didn’t speak with anyone. She praised sir Percival while sir Kay was ashamed. Jealous and revolted with the event he hit the lady because she had more appreciation for a simple knight than him. Percival was furious and he promised him that, when he came back, he’ll hit him even harder. Sir Percival went after sir Boindegardus and he defeated him. Afterwards, Arthur came back to the tent and found out what had happened. He lectured Sir Kay and sent Lancelot and Lamorack in search of Percival. He thought that the young knight might be in a lot of trouble. The king didn’t even know that a great knight will join his Round Table.
Lamorack and Lancelot instead of finding Percival wounded, they found him dragging a knight’s body across the ground. They asked him what he was doing and he said he was trying to take the armor off of the knight. Then they realized it was the knight who insulted the queen. Percival introduced himself and Lamorack was especially interested in his name. He said his brother has the same name but that he wasn’t sure whether he was still alive. Percival kept his identity quiet because he wanted to do many honorable quests before standing side by side with his brother. They took him to king Arthur where he became a real knight.
Percival and Lamorack went to Cardennan where they were received by masters of a castle. During the night Percival left Lamorack and he decided not to come back before he acquired fame. It didn’t take a lot before his first adventure. He met The White Knight. While he was fighting with him he realized that he wasn’t capable enough to fight like other knights. When The White Knight revealed his identity and it turned out it was Lancelot. He became Percival’s friend and mentor. He tutored him and Percival became a skilful knight who could only be defeated by Lancelot.
The forest Arroy was a great place for young knights who had to prove themselves. Percival admired the woods and its silence which provoked peace in everyone. He stumbled across two people and they were sir Pellias and Lady Nyma. The two of them had magic powers and knew who Percival was without even asking. The lady told Percival to follow the golden bird which will lead him to new adventures. Before saying goodbye she gave him an amulet to protect him from evil forces. The bird took him to a castle where he found a hungry, tortured, thirsty and shackled knight. When Percival freed him the knight told him he was the fisherman’s king’s son and that his name was Percydes. He was put in the miserable state by the sorceress Viviena, the same sorceress who led Merlin to his misery. Percival promised to put Viviena in her place despite Percydes’s warnings about her.
As he approached the castle the doors open and he saw a beautiful lady accompanied by her men. Sir Percival couldn’t resist her beauty and when he got to close she wanted to hit him and petrify him but his amulet saved him from her magic. He was furious, grabbed her by the hair and threatened to slit her throat. She begged him for mercy and he ordered her to surrender to King Arthur and give all of the people she petrified their life back if she wanted to save her own. She promised to do so and when he let her go she laughed his naivety and vanished.
Sir Percydes, as a sign of gratitude offered Percival to eat and drink something in his castle. He recognized the ring on his finger and asked him about it. Percival told him the whole story and Percydes asked him how he will find his lady. He wasn’t sure of it but he knew they’ll meet one day. PErcydes told him that if he wanted to see her he should come to him and he’ll point him in her direction. Percydes knew that Percival was an excellent knight so he told him where he could find his new adventure.
In a castle lived a lady whose misery was sir Clamadis’s love for her because she didn’t love him back. It made him angry and he besieged her castle. Her only salvation was Percival because there wasn’t a brave enough knight on her castle to protect her and nobody could get inside the castle. Percival accepted the challenge.
He traveled a lot and took a break to eat and drink something. Soon he met an unknown knight and got into a fight with him over who’ll save the lady. The knight presented himself as Lionel, and he was also one of Arthur’s knights. Percival realized he was Lancelot’s nephew and he felt bad about fighting him. When they were saying his goodbyes, he asked Lionel to tell everyone about his deeds and tell Sir Kay he will come back to revenge the slap he gave to the lady.
Before coming to the besieged castle, Percival got into a dual with The Red Knight. He defeated him, took his armor and fooled everyone with it. Nobody knew it was him and the lady didn’t even want to let him into her castle before he revealed his face. She took him in and gave him something to eat and drink. She was a stunning lady. Her face and extraordinary beauty are hard to describe with words.
Soon sir Clamadius found out that a knight ready to fight for the lady’s honor entered the castle. He knew it was a great danger because the knight’s arrival could encourage the villagers to put up a stronger resistance which would destroy his plans. Sir Clamadius had his counselor with him and he came up with a plan to defeat Percival. His plan was to gather the best knights and then retrieve slowly until they don’t get Percival far from the castle and ambush him. It’s needless to say the plan didn’t work. In the beginning of the struggle Percival defeated six knights so they never had a chance to retrieve. Sir CLamadius got angrier and he decided to take care of the battle himself. He went to the castle and told Percival to introduce himself. He rejected him and said modestly he was only a young and inexperienced knight. Sir Percival managed to fool sir Clamadius who thought he will win easily but in the end he was held captive by Percival. Percival stayed honorable and sent sir Clamadius to king Arthur’s castle so he could decide what to do with him.
After the turbulent adventures Percival stayed in the lady’s castle for quite some time. She loved him more and more every day but she went through the same thing as her courter – she was rejected. He explained to her that by accepting her love he would dishonor himself and break a promise he gave to another lady. The lady felt ashamed and he tried to convince her he was honor with her declaration of love. Percival was forced to leave the castle and go on new adventures which spread the good word about him.
Soon he started contemplating a lot. His thoughts were occupied by his lady. The sight of blood and black feathers on snow made him remember her. He was found in his pensive state by Sir Gwaine, Sir Geraint and Sir Kay. They didn’t recognize him at first so Sir Kay suggested they should approach him. Sir Gwaine warned him not to do so because it was a great sin to interrupt a knight while he thinks about his lady. Sir Kay’s arrogance prevailed and he roughly pulled Sir Percival’s arm. In return he got hit as Sir Percival promised he would be. After some Percival’s justifications, he found out King Arthur was looking for him since his glory was wide spread.
Before coming back to the castle Percival had another assignment, that is a promise to fulfill. He had to see his lady. The Knights accepted his apology agreeing that his service to his lady was much more bigger than his service to King Arthur. It was Sir Percydes’s turn to return his savior a favor. Percival came to his castle where Percydes told him that his lady Yvette was actually his sister. Percydes hadn’t seen his family for two long years and asked Percival to give them his greetings. During their conversations they realized they were blood related. Their mothers were sisters.
When Percival came to the castle nothing was going right. He greeted the king and told him everything about his son. The king was happy to see Sir Percival because the stories of his adventures and his glory spread everywhere. He took him to Yvette who had abandoned the world to join the angels because she was one of them. Saying Percival’s heart was broken is an understatement and he didn’t even have strength enough to cry. Sir Percival raised her hand, gave her back her ring and promised to be faithful to her until the day he dies. He stayed in the castle for three days. The king, queen and their two younger sons felt incredibly sorry for him and cried.
The third night sir Percival had a miraculous vision. On Christmas he sat in a big ballroom and thought about the sadness which was suffocating him. All of the sudden he saw two young men entering and carrying massive spears in their hands that had blood on them and a golden chalice. In the beginning he was scared of them and the things they were carrying but soon they explained it was the Holy Grail and The Spear of Pain. The young men told him he shouldn’t dedicate his life to pain and to stop making his taste so bitter. The event was a enlightenment for Percival. He said goodbye to his hosts and went to king Arthur’s castle.
There Sir Percival was greeted with joy and respect. Finally he felt free enough to reveal his identity to his brother. Returning to the castle, Percival’s life finally had a meaning and he even got a seat at the Round Table. His name appeared just four days before his arrival, right when he had the vision of the Holy Grail. He still longed for his lady Yvette but he knew she was looking after him from the skies and that she felt proud of him. After the ceremony Sir Percival and sir Lamorack went to get their mother and take her to a better life. Sir Percival spent the rest of his days as a honorable knight. He did many honorable deeds which put him side to side with his brother Sir Lamorack and his mentor sir Lancelot and he also got his family back. His lovely lady Yvette wasn’t by his side but he knew that one day they will meet and be together for an eternity. Sir Percival was remembered as one of the knights who searched for The Holy Grail but we’ll live the narration of those adventures for some other time.
The Book of Lancelot of the Lake: sir Lancelot, count of Benwick, Helena, Sir Kay, Elouisa, Arthur, Lancelot, Lady of the Lake, sir Ector, sir Erwaine, Guinevera, The Black Knight, Morgana, Lionel, Sir Hillare
The Book of Tristan: sir Tristan, Meliadus, Elizabeth, Moeya, Marhaus, Isolde, Palamydes, King Angus, King Mark, sir Morgan, sir Ector, Gouvernail, Lancelot
The Book of Percival: sir Percival, Lamorack, sir Kay, sir Lancelot, The King of fishermen, the lady, Lady Yvette, Engeron…
Sir Lancelot - is a child from a family whose ending was sad. His faith wanted him to become a knight of the Round Table. Because of his actions he became one of the greatest knights of all time. He was the king’s champion and the symbol of Arthur’s justice. He was filled with honor and he had a sense of justice.
He was skilful when it came to weapons and he fought in the name of the king. He was the protector of weak and the torturer of the bad. He had a bad temper and he got angry easily with a direct insult or when someone would hurt innocent people. He always kept his promises, even when he was running out of strength.
Breaking his knight honor would awake the desire to kill him, but he always managed to stop himself. He was intelligent which notable when he exchanged his armor with sir Kay. He was no stranger to jokes. He would punish the arrogant knights by making fools out of them without having any bad intentions. He often formed friendships with women, but the only woman he felt obligated to serve was queen Guinevera. Many resented him for that and made up vicious rumors about him.
Sir Tristan - as his name implies had a sad life. His mother gave birth to him on her death bed and later on his stepmother tried to kill him. His kindness never let hatred rule over his heart so he saved his stepmother from dying. His father banished him for it but he unintentionally made him a favor by doing so.
In France he developed a talent for writing, playing the harp and singing. Anyone who had heard Tristan would say he sang like an angel and not a man. He stepped on his pride when he went back to his father asking him to take him back. He did his knight duty for his uncle King Mark of Cornwall who will put him through a lot of misery. He fought in his name, defended the weak and went into hard struggles to keep his honor. He had a sense of moral judgment.
His honor was the most important thing in his life, and he was ready to defend it even if it cost him humiliation which is notable when he gave up Isolda and let King Mark have her. He was so modest that he sometimes didn’t even introduce himself with his name but by saying he was a young knight. He was ready to give his love to King Angus’s daughter despite the conflicts over the killed queen’s brother. In his adventures, he made many knight friends, and he gained their trust and respect. Tristan stayed faithful to his lady until the day he died when he paid for his love with his life.
Isolde - was king Angus’s daughter and she was successful in saving Tristan’s life when he was injured. Love developed between her and Tristan, but it didn’t have a happy ending. Because of unfortunate circumstances, she was forced to marry King Mark. She saw it as a betrayal on Tristan’s side, and she had a hard time making peace with the fact that she no longer belonged to Tristan. She used a love potion to keep Tristan by her side, but she got into even more trouble because of it.
He thought about honor a lot. She asked if it was better to live honorably in sadness or dishonorably in happiness. She was asked the same question by King Arthur and it made her go back to King Mark. She despised the king and he sent spies to check up on her and Tristan. When she saw Tristan’s corps, she dropped dead to the ground without making a sound.
King Mark of Cornwall - was Tristan’s uncle who, at first, accepted Tristan with joy. As Tristan got more famous, King Mark hated him more because he was a big egoist. He searched for any excuse to hurt sir Tristan, from simplest tournaments which would question Tristan’s honor to stealing his beloved lady. His hatred resulted inTristan’s suicide. Karma caught up with him because during Tristan’s death sir Alexander killed him in an act of rage.
Sir Percival - appeared to be, because of his looks and behavior, a sad character and he was much alike don Quixote. His mother kept him isolated for a lot of years so he didn’t have developed social skills and his knowledge wasn’t of a wide range. When people saw him they made fun of him and at first he didn’t perceive it. Soon, with Sir Lancelot’s help, he became a great knight and earned his seat at the Round Table. He was honest, had a sense of justice but he also had a low tolerance level. Sir Percival would get extremely angry when someone would disrespect a lady or other knights and he was no stranger to hitting men as he hit sir Kay because he hurt a lady. He wasn’t scared of any challenge and sometimes he would accept them without thinking about it twice. During his adventures he grew up a lot. His heart was stolen by lady Yvette and he swore eternal love to her. No other lady could make him break his promise and they all left him indifferent.
His life ends tragically when, after many adventures, he went to get his lady so he could serve her for the rest of his life but he only found her dead. Immersed into sadness, he started contemplating when God sent him a vision in the form of two men carrying The Spear of Pain and The Holy Grail. That enlightenment saved his life. When Sir Percival made peace with his pain, he kept on living like an honorable knight, and he always knew he would one day be with his beloved lady Yvette. He was one of the knights who had the honor to be in the presence of The Holy Grail.
Lady Yvette - was a king’s daughter and the love of Percival’s life. They met in a tent in which Percival entered and started a conversation with her. She followed up with his train of thoughts and when he told her she was the most beautiful lady he had ever seen, she fell in love with him. They exchanged rings and her ring helped Percival track her down easy. Her death changed the course of Sir Percival’s life.
Howard Pyle Biography
Howard Pyle was born in 1853 in Wilmington. He was an American writer, illustrator and a teacher. He made many illustrations for stories, fairytales and adventure novels. In his early youth he was strongly influenced by his mother who, by reading stories, fairytales and ballades to him and showing him famous illustrations, set the path for him to become an artist.
Since he wasn’t interested in conventional education, he studied from a Belgian artist. When he finished his education he opened up his own studio. Pyle wrote in his free time. His work was a priceless contribution to the American youth’s literature. His works are as exciting today as they were in his time no matter if they are illustrations, cartoons or literary works.
He dedicated his life to writing. His most famous work are “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood”, “Whiting the Capes”, “Otto of the Silver Hand”, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights”, The Story of Sir Lancelot and his Companions”, “The Story of the Grail and the Passing of King Arthur”…
He died on November 9th, 1911 in Florence, Italy.