Le Morte D'Arthur
by Sir Thomas Malory
Le Morte D'Arthur Love Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Page.Line) [from Malory, Thomas. Le Morte D'Arthur. Stephen H. A. Shepherd, ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004. Print.]
So this Sir Launcelot encresed so mervaylously in worship and honoure: therefore he is the fyrste knyght that the Frenysh booke makyth mencion of aftir Kynge Arthur com from Rome. Wherefore Quene Gtwenyvere had hym in grete favoure aboven all other knyghtis, and so he loved the Quene agayne aboven all other ladyes dayes of his lyff, and for hir he dud many dedys of armys, and saved her from the fyre thorow his noble chevalry. (152.1-7)
If the dynamic duo of desirability in women is beauty and virtue, its counterpart in men is what Launcelot has: "worship and honoure," or a good reputation and trueness to his word. It's this combo in Launcelot that causes Gwenyvere to fall in love with him. Really, who could resist?
"Because that we undirstonde youre worthynesse, that thou art the noblest knyght lyvyng, and also we know well there can no lady have thy love but one, and that is Quene Gwenyvere – and now thou shalt hir love lose for ever, and she thyne. For hit behovyth the now to chose one of us foure." (155.8-12)
Throughout Le Morte, Launcelot is constantly being propositioned by women who attempt to lure him away from Gwenyvere. He proves his devotion to her by not giving in, even when his or her lives depend on it.
"But hit is noysed that ye love Quene Gwenyvere, and that she hath ordeyned by enchauntemente that ye shall never love none other but hir, nother none other damesell ne lady shall rejoyce you – wherefore there be many in this londe, of hyghe astate and lowe, that make grete sorow." (164.27-31)
Uh oh, Shmoopers, the love between Gwenyvere and Launcelot is "noysed." That means fair gossiping game, and public opinion is not in Gwenyvere's favor. Plus, it's just plain selfish of her to hog a great knight like Launcelot when she already has a king for a husband. So we're thinking it's spite that feeds the rumor that Gwenyvere has cast a spell on Launcelot.