The Cup of Mercy: Figuration in Sir Thomas Malory's "Sankgreal" and the Medieval Popular Bible

Hagood, Derrill, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Fowler, Elizabeth, Department of English, University of Virginia

This thesis aims to look at the innovations of character work accomplished by both Sir Thomas Malory and the Queste author, which served to place the Arthurian Grail Quest firmly within the realm of the medieval popular bible. In looking at the newly-created Galahad, the women of the story of the three spindles, and the background literature of the legends of Seth and the Tree of Life, I argue that Malory and the Queste author helped continue a tradition of medieval heroism that had roots in pre-Christian texts and helped preserve the cycle of legends surrounding the Tree of Life in a post-Reformation world. A study of the figuration in Malory’s “Sankgreal” and the Queste can help to provide answers to those lingering questions of Malory’s motivations and to imbue the Arthurian Grail Quest with a historical authority that connects the knights of the Round Table to the genesis of humanity.

MA (Master of Arts)
Seth (Biblical Character), Literature, Medieval — History and Criticism, Holy Cross, Arthurian Romances — History and Criticism, Christianity in Literature, Malory, Thomas — Sir — Active 15th Century — Morte d'Arthur, Fall of Man in Literature, Queste del Saint Graal, Grail — Romances — History and Criticism, Apocryphal Adam Books — Criticism, Interpretation, etc, English Literature — Middle English, 1100-1500 — History and Criticism, Eve (Biblical Figure), Women in the Bible, Malory, Thomas — Sir — Tale of Sankgreal, Medieval Popular Bible
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