Date of Award

Fall 1976

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Allen, Judson B.

Second Advisor

Siegchrist, Mark

Third Advisor

Sullivan, Maureen


With a mass of material available from French Arthuriads, Malory set himself the task of writing an English romance with King Arthur as the protagonist and the fate of the English realm as the theme. Unlike the French authors who announced the structural format of their romances, Malory gave no indication of his method of composition. Consequently, any architectural structure is discernable only through a close scrutiny of the narrative, first as a composite of episodes and tales, and second, as a cohesiye whole. Malory chose to treat his history of Arthur from a tragic angle and he relied on structure to convey an impending sense of doom dogging the knights of the Round Table. Through the suggestive use of prophecies in Tale I, the carefully placed repetition of themes, the parallel adventures of knights and kings, the culmination in Tale V of various peripeties of Arthur's and Mark's realm, la procede des laieses similaires and tripartite structure, Malory lent form and shape to a collection of episodes from French romances. Malory's romances are not as Eugene Vinayer suggests" as separate as the various novels of a modern author; and that the romances may be taken in no particular order; and that they have no cumulative effect." By relying on paralleled characterizations and events, cross-references and prophecies, a single theme, and tripartite structure which he utilized in all episodes, stories and tales, Malory unified his collection of French romances...



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