Le Morte D'Arthur
by Sir Thomas Malory
Le Morte D'Arthur Loyalty 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 thes two and twenty knyghtes drew hem togydirs, and by than they were armed and on horsebak, they promysed Sir Launcelot to do what he wolde. Than there felle to them, what of Northe Walys and of Cornwayle, for Sir Lamorakes sake and for Sir Trystrames sake, to the numbir of foure score knyghtes. (652.29-33)
After the ambush of Launcelot in Gwenyvere's bedchamber, Arthur's knights take sides in the quarrel. Saying that some of the knights joined together "for Sir Lamorakes sake" reminds us of another betrayal – Lot's sons' rather unchivalrous murder of Sir Lamerok. And Launcelot, of course, claims the loyalty of Trystram and his crew, since he and Trystram were buddies when Trystram was at court.
"My lorde," seyde Sir Launcelot, "so ye be nat displeased, ye shall undirstonde that I and myne have done you oftyntymes bettir servyse than ony othir knyghtes have done, in many dyverce placis; and where ye have bene full hard bestadde dyvers tymes, I have rescowed you fro many daungers." (667.15-19)
Launcelot reminds Arthur that he has always been a true vassal to him. Isn't that enough? Shmoop is not so sure. What do you think?
"For I woll allwayes fle that noble kynge that made me knyght; and whan I may no farther, I muste nedis deffende me – and that woll be more worshyp for me and us all than to compare with that noble kynge whom we have all served." (674.22-26)
Even when Arthur has invaded his lands, Launcelot remains unfailingly loyal to him, revealing just how strong his sense of loyalty is. He believes that fighting Arthur only in self-defense will allow the knights to emerge from this difficult situation with "worshyp," or honor.