Perceval the Arthurian Legends May Term Paper

Total Length: 1628 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

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This includes the need to maintain chastity, a test Perceval passes when he "has a close call with sexual temptation: slipping into bed with a demon in alluringly feminine form, he is only saved when his glance falls on the red cross inscribed on his sword pommel. The 'lady' and her silk tent disappear in a flash and a puff of smoke, leaving the tell-tale sulphurous stench of hell. A distraught Perceval stabs himself through the left thigh in penance" (Kaeuper 258). Such ability to resist is the mark of a knight, though many of the stories also suggest that the knight often fails this test at some point and then has to do penance to make up for his failure.

Whether the Grail derives from Christian ideas first or from Celtic images and stories, over time the idea of the Grail did become more associated with Christian symbols so that today it is thought to have some association with Christ and specifically with the Last Supper or the crucifixion.
The Catholic wafer is the primary association with Christian ideas in Perceval, though one can see how the idea of the Grail would be associated more with Christianity because of such references.

Perceval" was not finished by de Troyes, but it has had sections added by later writers to carry the story forward. There is no way to be certain how de Troyes intended it to end or whether the extensions follow his lead or are more imaginative from others. The shift to Gawain in the latter half seems odd but carries through some of the same themes as Gawain is also tested and resists similar temptations in his own journey and quest.

Works Cited

Kaeuper, Richard W. Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Loomis, Roger Sheman. The….....

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