Le Morte D'Arthur
by Sir Thomas Malory
Le Morte D'Arthur Strength and Skill 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.]
"I am seke for angre and for love of fayre Igrayne, that I may not be hool." "Wel, my lord," said Syre Ulfius, "I shal seke Merlin and he shalle do yow remedy, that youre herte shal be pleasyd." (4.16-19)
The marriage between Igrayne and Uther comes about because of Merlin's magical skill: he transforms Uther into Igrayne's husband to trick her into sleeping with him. Unfortunately, this is not the last time that magic will be used to entice someone into bed. Later in the story, Elayne of Corbin seduces Launcelot in just the same way.
And the thyrd syster, Morgan le Fey, was put to scole in a nonnery, and ther she lerned so moche that she was a grete clerke of nygromancye. (5.44-6.2)
It's curious that Morgan emerges from the nunnery, where she was supposed to be learning about God, as a "clerke of nygromancye," or a sorceress. Guess that whole Christianity thing didn't stick. But this little tidbit could also reflect the fact that nunneries and monasteries were actually the only centers of learning the medieval period in England. So if a woman wanted any kind of education at all, she had to go to one.
And whan they herde of hys adventures, they mervayled that he wolde joupardé his person so alone. But all men of worship seyde hit was myrry to be under such a chyfftayne that wolde putte hys person in adventure as other poure knyghtis ded. (38.33-36)
One of the things that sets Arthur apart from other kings is his skill as a fighter and his willingness to engage in one-on-one combat. As the story goes on, however, Arthur starts to delegate, so that by the end of the story, he's more a leader than a fighter.