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Absent Fathers, Unexpected Sons: Paternity in Malory's Morte Darthur

Absent Fathers, Unexpected Sons: Paternity in Malory's Morte Darthur Absent Fathers, Unexpected Sons: Paternity in Malory’s Morte Darthur by Cory Rushton ATERNITY in Malory’s Morte Darthur, and in romance texts in general, is seldom straightforward. Arthur himself is of uncertain Pparentage until Merlin reveals the young king’s relationship with Uther, who is (of course) quite dead. Other knights are charged with avenging their deceased fathers, or they meet unexpected sons while on various quests. Only Gawain is portrayed with fully acknowledged sons, who are seen among the knights who attempt to heal Sir Urré: ‘‘Than cam in sir Gawayne wyth hys three sunnes, sir Gyngalyn, sir Florent, and sir Lovell (thes two were begotyn uppon sir Braundeles syster)’’ (1147/30 –32). Nowhere else in the Morte Darthur, and rarely enough in romances altogether, does a man enter a room flanked by his sons. Full participants in the Winchester Manuscript’s version of the Roman War, Florent and Lovell disappear in Caxton’s version; Gyn- galyn barely registers in the rest of the text. While Florent and Lovell appear more than once in the Morte Darthur in both Winchester and Caxton, their narrative arc is extremely truncated by Caxton’s editing. Before discussing this atypical family sub-plot, we need to examine the more http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

Absent Fathers, Unexpected Sons: Paternity in Malory's Morte Darthur

Studies in Philology , Volume 101 (2) – Apr 13, 2004

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

Absent Fathers, Unexpected Sons: Paternity in Malory’s Morte Darthur by Cory Rushton ATERNITY in Malory’s Morte Darthur, and in romance texts in general, is seldom straightforward. Arthur himself is of uncertain Pparentage until Merlin reveals the young king’s relationship with Uther, who is (of course) quite dead. Other knights are charged with avenging their deceased fathers, or they meet unexpected sons while on various quests. Only Gawain is portrayed with fully acknowledged sons, who are seen among the knights who attempt to heal Sir Urré: ‘‘Than cam in sir Gawayne wyth hys three sunnes, sir Gyngalyn, sir Florent, and sir Lovell (thes two were begotyn uppon sir Braundeles syster)’’ (1147/30 –32). Nowhere else in the Morte Darthur, and rarely enough in romances altogether, does a man enter a room flanked by his sons. Full participants in the Winchester Manuscript’s version of the Roman War, Florent and Lovell disappear in Caxton’s version; Gyn- galyn barely registers in the rest of the text. While Florent and Lovell appear more than once in the Morte Darthur in both Winchester and Caxton, their narrative arc is extremely truncated by Caxton’s editing. Before discussing this atypical family sub-plot, we need to examine the more

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Apr 13, 2004

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