What could the moral be?

Being told this story from the perspective of Lanval has influenced my way of thinking when it comes to the actions of myself and my court on that strange, bizarre day. I don’t even remember this “Sir Lanval” existing, then to my surprise he appears one day to distribute untold wealth and riches to all my knights! It did not surprise me to find that my lady, the Queen Guinevere would betray me in such a way as she did with Lanval, and it surprises me less that Lanval retained his honor and did not betray my trust. My queen has elicited such Godless encounters before with Sir Lancelot, and though it pains me so, I have come to expect such behavior of her.

Alas, all that did not diminish my enjoyment of this story. There was, however, something that bothered me, as a learned man. That is, what lesson or moral was this tale supposed to impart? The teachings of our holy texts tell us the ways by which we should live our lives, and stories such as these should engage in the same sort of didactisms.

There was the obvious idea that one should live their life honorably, but I would compel any reader to find a story that didn’t contain this moral. Any story with clear protagonists and antagonists would demonstrate this truth by its very nature. Other than that, this tale tells all the sad-sacks the world over that they can attain vast riches and beautiful women simply by feeling sorry for themselves.


2 thoughts on “What could the moral be?

  1. King Arthur, perhaps you’re too close to the story to see its moral meaning. Or, perhaps more accurately, the moral meaning in the story of Lanval is obscured by its unorthodox approach. It is difficult to understand what exactly the speaker of the story wants us to take away as its meaning. I believe it depends almost entirely on the reader’s lens on how he views the happenings of this tale. On that end, whatever moral meaning found depends on how the reader interprets the story.

    For example: Did Lanval actually break his oath? If reader decides that he did, then the moral of the fairy’s return could be that clemency trumps oath, that forgiving someone who has broken an oath sometimes is the right moral action.

    Or, perhaps the meaning of the story is that sometimes the fate of men are dependent on women, and it is a woman who rides in to save the day.

  2. Reading this tale made me look into my own soul and question my morals. I was willing to dishonor my own husband, the king who hosted Sir Gawain during his temporary stay in our kingdom. It was not riches that attracted me to him as it was his bold behavior and how gallant of a knight he was.

    Although I must say, when a woman is pursuing another man that is not her husband, it is often for a certain motive. Very rarely I must say it would have to be true love, for women know that these men that are not their husbands and any pursuit for intimate relations is dishonorable to God and to their husband.

    Although I find Sir Gawain an intriguing and extremely good-looking, a knight is not a noble knight unless he has been tested for dishonor. Has he pursued my advances towards him, it would have troubled the deal he made with my husband and complicated his reputation.

    So in all I must say, that Sir Gawain has lived his life honorably from what I know during my encounter with him. Although I think against his desire, he did not dishonor my Lord and pursue intimacy with me. All I obtained was a few kisses, and I insisted he take my girdle. I do believe I love Gawain, and maybe us beautiful women aren’t so much for the riches as we are for the thrill of it all. Since you men leave us cooped up in the castles all day while you all get to go out and live your lives. What else are we supposed to do for entertainment?

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