The story of the Holy Grail has fascinated people in written form for almost 900 years, and existed in oral form before that date as part of the legend called the Matter of Britain. This has been a pagan story, a Jewish/Islamic story, and a Christian story. The grail itself has been a serving dish, a statue, a stone, and a chalice. Through all the permutations of the story, the story itself has never failed to captivate those who hear it.This paper will examine the evolution of the written grail story through history, the influences, and the changes through time.
[...] IV.Le Mort D'Arthur The version of the Grail legend most familiar in modern times is a tale written in English by Sir Thomas Malory in about 1470. Malory based his account on translations of earlier French versions of the Grail story and then made the tale his own. This work, or compilation of earlier works, was called Le Mort D'Arthur (The Death of Arthur). We have only fragmented information about Malory's life, but it seems clear he was an outrageous character, even for his time. He was elected twice to Parliament and also spent time in jail under accusation for such offenses as stealing sheep, burglary, rape, and attempting to ambush the Duke of Buckingham. [...]
[...] Percivale (Malory's spelling) and Bors, play the role that Perceval and Parzival played in earlier versions, but they do not achieve the Grail in the same way Galahad does. Galahad achieves it on his own merit, but they are secondary achievers, the flawed human figures who must be saved by God's grace. In this new version of the Grail story the Celtic elements in Chrétien's earlier tale are discredited. The Celtic is equated with the devil on more than one occasion, while the law of Christianity is portrayed as good. [...]
[...] The Marian Chalice Malory turned the Grail into a Christian artifact, and in doing so he worked legends about biblical times into his story. There was an ancient Christian legend that Mary Magdalene had caught the blood of Jesus on the cross in the cup Jesus had used at the Last Supper when he offered his body and blood as a sacrament. The first recorded version of this legend dates to the fourth century when Constantine's mother, Helena, excavated in Jerusalem for holy sites. She claimed to discover both the cross used to crucify Jesus and the tomb where he was buried. [...]
[...] The actual history of King Arthur is unknown, but there is a theory that his story is based on the life of a real person. That story starts around 420 when a Briton named Vortigern formed the kingdom of Powys in western Britain, and then Vortigern was succeeded by his unpopular son, Britu (maybe directly or after the reign of Vortigern's other son Pascent). When the Picts threatened to invade from the north, Britu brought in Angles and Saxons from northern Germany to serve as mercenaries, which turned out to be a major mistake. [...]
[...] Though many suspect that Kyot was a fictitious character, it is true that Wolfram's version of the story has several elements related to the Islamic culture of Spain that do not appear in other Grail stories. These include traces of Arabic astrology, Islamic love poetry, alchemical symbolism, and Jewish esoterica, all of which were related to the Spanish Moorish culture of that time. There are also references to some Templar knights who are waiting for the Madhi, who is an Islamic form of Messiah. [...]
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