Film and Literature of King Arthur
Write at least three paragraphs, up to 7 or 8, for each question. 1) Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Fisher King all use elements of the Arthurian tradition in twentieth-century settings. Discuss how these films approach the Arthurian myth differently and how that changes the audiences’ perception of the Arthurian elements of the films. 2) The differences between the medieval romances (Marie de France and Chretien de Troyes) and the other genres such as the history writing of Geoffery of Monmouth and Christian allegories of The Quest of the Holy Grail are distinct. Choose one romance and one of the other two medieval works and discuss how they address the Arthurian legend. Be sure to note both differences and similarities in the way they address the material. 3) The critic Robert Scholes has argued that film is a powerful medium because it allows the viewer to see things in ways not allowed in real life. Film can slow events down, speed them up, give us close-ups, and add music for dramatic effect. Despite these features, literary works offer vivid imagery for the reader that often evokes stronger images than film (thus, the book was better argument). In this class we watched a number of films and read a number of books that dealt with the same material. Choosing two works, one film and one literary work, discuss the different ways they represented similar material.