© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Le Morte D'Arthur

Le Morte D'Arthur

by Sir Thomas Malory

Le Morte D'Arthur Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Betrayal

We can hardly read a word of Le Morte D'Arthur without somebody betraying somebody else. Knights betray their lords. Ladies betray their knights. It's no wonder Camelot has some serious trust issue...

Loyalty

In Le Morte D'Arthur, knights demonstrate their loyalty to their overlord above all by being willing to go to battle for him, and by refusing to engage with him or his other knights. So if Arthur t...

Revenge (or Vengeance)

In Le Morte D'Arthur, a desire for vengeance brings down the Round Table. It's about as simple as that. First, there's the blood feud that began early in the story, with Pellynore's slaying of King...

Identity

Did you notice that the knights in Le Morte D'Arthur are often running around in disguise? Many knights, like Gareth, Trystram, or Launcelot, choose to withhold their identity in order to be judged...

Love

With the relationships between Launcelot and Gwenyvere, and Trystram and Isode, Le Morte D'Arthur provides in-depth examples of devoted, to-the-death love between men and women. But these love affa...

Rules and Order

When Arthur founds the Round Table, he requires all of his knights to take an oath to not commit crimes, to show mercy to those who ask, to give special succor to ladies, and in general to be honor...

Tradition and Customs

In Le Morte D'Arthur, Arthur's knights often arrive in mysterious castles only to find that the "custom of the castle" requires them to do something ridiculously difficult, or sometimes just plain...

Strength and Skill

In Le Morte D'Arthur, knights win acclaim and honor by proving themselves on the battlefield, and in tournaments and jousts. It's all about skill, and the knights who get the most praise are the ta...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement