Podcast 47: Chivalry And A Modern Morte Darthur

MortedArthurScott considers the language of chivalry and King Arthur as he is joined by Dorsey Armstrong, Associate Professor of English and Medieval Literature at Purdue University, and editor/translator of the book Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: A New Modern English Translation of the Winchester Manuscript. Prof. Armstrong talks about the language of Arthurian legend (from the 15th to the 21st centuries) and what this classic tale has to say about living by the code of chivalry.

Plus: A discussion of the code of a different kind of knight as we consider The Jedi Path with author Daniel Wallace; and a line of chivalry from the words of one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters.

Quicklinks — Learn more about the books and authors mentioned in this podcast with the links below:

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Segment 1: Lines Of Chivalry

HamletThis month’s line of chivalry comes from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. When Hamlet tells his steward Polonius to welcome a band of players into the castle, Polonius replies, essentially, “Sure, I’ll give ’em as good as they deserve.” (Not much of a promise, since actors and performers in Shakespeare’s time were notorious for being rogues and pickpockets.)

In response, Hamlet says:

God’s bodykins, man, much better: use every man
after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?
Use them after your own honor and dignity: the less
they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.

If you would like to suggest your own “line of chivalry” from a play, movie, book, TV show, song or poem, just visit our Listener Challenger page and send us an e-mail. Every month we’ll draw one of the entries to win a prize, and we’ll read some of the more memorable lines on upcoming editions of the podcast.

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Segment 2: A Modern Morte Darthur And The Code Of Chivalry

Scott speaks with Prof. Dorsey Armstrong, editor and translator of Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: A New Modern English Translation Based on the Winchester Manuscript , published by Parlor Press, about the work of updating the language of this 15th century book, and about how the fantastic adventures of Arthur’s knights in Morte Darthur reflects the real-world values and practices of the code of chivalry — in Malory’s time, and in the 21st century.
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Segment 3: The Jedi Path And The Code Of Chivalry

The Jedi Knights of Star Wars are arguably the most common and recognized icon of the concept of knighthood in today’s society – and characters like Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi exemplify how a knightly code might be put to use in a time of high-technology and galactic commerce, rather than castles and Crusades. Daniel Wallace, a New York Times bestselling author and Star Wars guru, has written a new manual of knighthood for the Jedi order: The Jedi Path. He joins Scott to compare the Jedi way and the code of chivalry, and to consider how the cinematic depictions of space knights shapes our own understanding of the principles of chivalry.

Below: Check out a teaser video for The Jedi Path by Daniel Wallace (and a few other notable Jedi knights).

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERej5mJ5AnM[/responsive_video]

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Next Month: Scott will interview Mike Loades, renowned historical interpreter and combat expert, about his new book Swords And Swordsmen, and what the history of the use, design and symbolism of swords reveals about the ideals of chivalry.
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One thought on “Podcast 47: Chivalry And A Modern Morte Darthur

  1. I wanted to see the website about the modern international jousting competition, and I came across your website.

    What is Chivalry? From what I understand from Historical accounts, the code of conduct of knights was not practiced by knights; who came from the nobility. What was written, was not practiced. So from a modern 21st century well-educated and, well-mannered gentleman. What is chivalry? Modern women complain that chivalry is dead, did chivalry died or did it ever existed? We read in novels of courtly romantic gestures, and modern women woo and fantasize about such acts of romance. But were 15th century ladies also guilty of romanticizing such words, and deeds from what they read?

    And what about the rules of war? Was chivalry actually practiced on the battlefield, or was the practical approach of engaging, and killing the enemy a safer route; than being polite and considerate to the enemy. Prisoners of war, if they came from the nobility they were ransomed for their release. But what about the poor peasant who got inscripted into the King’s army for service? Was he shown any humane treatment if captured?

    If I was a young prince in 15th century Spain, learning the lessons of governing, government, and leading troops. I would still ask, “What is Chivalry? I read the books about the courage and heroism of knights, and the purity of the soul. But men are deceitful, greedy, jealous, and cowardly at times. I find myself avoiding confrontation if there is no point, but then my ego and temper gets the better of me. How can I be pure, if I am acting like the devil himself? Is this considered heroic, and courageous?”

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