Episode 24: Monty Python and the Code of Chivalry

Professor Gary Hardcastle, senior editor of the book Monty Python and Philosophy, joins Scott to talk about how the Pythons’ view of King Arthur changed our understanding of chivalry. Also: Dragons, giants and other monsters of chivalry, with English lit. Professor Richard Scott Nokes; and donate to our program for free tickets to the World Invitational Joust.

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Segment 1: Interview — Prof. Gary Hardcastle on Monty Python & King Arthur

Scott interviews Prof. Gary Hardcastle, senior editor of the book Monty Python And Philosophy, about gender roles (“I’m not an old woman!”), Holy Grails (“Naughty Zoot! You turned on the Grail beacon again!”), and questioning authority (“How did you get to be king? I didn’t vote for you!”), as they have a few laughs and consider how the very irreverent portrayal of Arthurian lore in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and the musical Spamalot) reflects our modern understanding – and mistrust – of the knightly ideals.

  • Buy a copy of Monty Python And Philosophy;
  • Bonus Podcast Segment: Scott and Gary talk about Sir Bedevere, logic and the Camelot witch trial (5:20)

Segment 2: Monsters of Chivalry

We would like to thank Greenoak Media for their technical support for the Chivalry Today Podcast. Show theme and incidental music composed and performed by Joe Novelozo.

Correction: In the introduction to Episode 24, you may have noticed Scott claimed the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail had been “released nearly a half decade ago.” Those of you with superior mathematical skills surely realized that this movie is a bit more than five years old. Monty Python’s lampoon of Arthurian legend was released in the U.S. in 1975, and what Scott meant to say was “in the nearly half century since the movie’s release.” (Since Scott remembers seeing this movie in theaters, this lapse in detail may be attributed to his advanced age.)

We apologize for any confusion this miscalculation may have caused. All those responsible … have been sacked.

Scott Farrell

About Scott Farrell

Scott Farrell is the founder and director of the Chivalry Today Educational Program. He gives dozens of live presentations on the history and values of chivalry every year at schools, libraries, and civic and professional organizations throughout Southern California. His thoughts and conversations on chivalry can be heard worldwide every month on his Chivalry Today Podcast. His essays on the code of chivalry have appeared in numerous magazines and books, including Living A Life Of Value (Jason Merchey, editor) and the forthcoming Martial Arts And Philosophy (Damon Young, editor).