Le Morte d’Arthur

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Sir Launcelot du Lake Character Analysis

By most accounts the knight of greatest prowess in the kingdom, Launcelot is only matched by Tristram. Launcelot always adheres to knights’ code of honor: defending ladies in distress, granting mercy to knights whom he conquers, and never fleeing from a potential battle, no matter how risky. However, the book is ultimately ambivalent regarding Launcelot’s character, especially since due to his affair with Guenever, he does not have the kind of spiritual purity required to achieve the Holy Grail. Launcelot’s jousting glory may be unparalleled, but he is also limited to earthly success, unlike, for instance, his son Galahad.

Sir Launcelot du Lake Quotes in Le Morte d’Arthur

The Le Morte d’Arthur quotes below are all either spoken by Sir Launcelot du Lake or refer to Sir Launcelot du Lake. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Honor and Chivalry Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Le Morte d’Arthur published in 1970.
Book 5 Quotes

Then the king wept, and dried his eyes with a kerchief, and said, Your courage had near-hand destroyed you, for though ye had returned again, ye had lost no worship; for I call it folly, knights to abide when they be overmatched. Nay, said Launcelot and the other, for once shamed may never be recovered.

Related Characters: King Arthur (speaker), Sir Launcelot du Lake (speaker)
Page Number: Vol 1, 180
Explanation and Analysis:

Sir Launcelot and Sir Cador, in charge of thousands of Roman prisoners, find themselves met by a massive army of 60,000 men sent by Lucius to rescue the prisoners. Even though Launcelot and Cador are with only 10,000 men, they still fight and successfully hold off their enemies. When they return to Arthur to tell him of what happened, the king is shocked but also impressed at how valiantly his knights have fought. It is perhaps Arthur's love for his men, especially Launcelot, that causes him to modify his fierce sense of honor here - he claims it would not be shameful for them to have withdrawn, since they were so unequally matched. Launcelot, however, won't accept any kind of modification of the code of chivalry. For him, strict consistency is necessary for a knight to maintain his glory - if he is even "once shamed," he can never recuperate that former glory. As a result Launcelot feels it necessary to welcome and even to seek out whatever battles he can.

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Book 9 Quotes

Queen Morgan loved Sir Launcelot best, and ever she desired him, and he would never love her nor do nothing at her request, and therefore she held many knights together for to have taken him by strength. And because she deemed that Sir Launcelot loved Queen Guenever paramour, and she him again, therefore Queen Morgan le Fay ordained that shield to put Sir Launcelot to a rebuke, to that intent that King Arthur might understand the love between them.

Related Characters: King Arthur, Queen Guenever, Sir Launcelot du Lake, Morgan le Fay
Page Number: Vol 1, 464
Explanation and Analysis:

As will be the case for much of the rest of the story, everyone but Arthur seems to know about the love between Launcelot and Guenever, and various characters, out of jealousy or plotting, seek to reveal the truth to Arthur. Morgan, one of these plotters, is motivated by her own lustful feelings for Launcelot (and so she is seemingly jealous of Guenever), and also has long hated Arthur and devised various schemes against him.

Morgan le Fay is one of the consistent villains of the book, but she is also one of the best examples of a powerful, independent woman—she is a queen by her own right, seemingly commands the loyalty of many knights, takes and discards her own lovers without marrying them, and has access to powerful and dangerous magic.

Book 13 Quotes

My sin and my wickedness have brought me unto great dishonour. For when I sought worldly adventures for worldly desires, I ever enchieved them and had the better in every place, and never was I discomfit in no quarrel, were it right or wrong. And now I take upon me the adventures of holy things, and now I see and understand that mine old sin hindereth me and shameth me, so that I had no power to stir nor speak when the holy blood appeared afore me.

Related Characters: Sir Launcelot du Lake (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Holy Grail (Sangreal)
Page Number: Vol 2, 270
Explanation and Analysis:

Half asleep, Launcelot has seen a knight be blessed by the vessel of the Holy Grail, but a voice has told him to leave this place, since he is not worthy to achieve the Sangreal himself. Now, Launcelot seems to have a total epiphany regarding his prior actions. He recognizes that, although he is perhaps the greatest knight of the Round Table, his motivations have been worldly, if not selfish. He has pursued triumph and glory for his own interests, rather for the inherent goodness of the challenges themselves. As a result (and because of his affair with Guenever), he has been physically barred from even remaining close to the holy vessel.

Launcelot’s epiphany underlines the complexity at the heart of the book’s attitude towards chivalry, fighting, and spirituality. Winning at tournaments and triumphing over enemies is shown to be a good in itself, a source of great honor for knights; however, the book also signals that there is a greater good in being holy and selfless and acknowledging a religious rather than earthly hierarchy. It is in this latter category that Launcelot has failed, showing his only weakness. His love for Guenever is alternately portrayed as chivalrous and as weak or wrong, since it is an adulterous love. Without definitively abandoning this love, it is difficult to see how Launcelot will fulfill the terms of his vow to be a better person—at least according to the dogmatic Christian rules of the Sangreal.

Book 18 Quotes

For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May, in something to constrain him to some manner of thing more in that month than in any other month, for divers causes. For then all herbs an trees renew a man and woman, and likewise lovers call again to their mind old gentleness and old service, and many kind deeds that were forgotten by negligence. For like as winter rasure doth always arase and defase green summer, so fareth it by unstable love in man and woman. For in many persons there is no stability; for we may see all day, for a little blast of winter’s rasure, anon we shall deface and lay apart true love for little or nought, that cost much thing; this is no wisdom nor stability, but it is feebleness of nature and great disworship, whosomever uses this.

Related Characters: Queen Guenever, Sir Launcelot du Lake
Page Number: Vol 2, 425
Explanation and Analysis:

This is one of the few points in the book when the narrator does not closely follow the actions of the main characters, and instead takes the chance to express some opinions and beliefs of his own. We have learned that the court has been at peace through Easter and into May, and it is suggested that this calmness stems from the very nature of the spring season—but also that spring will lead to the end of such peace. The narrator grafts an understanding of romantic love onto the cyclical aspect of the seasons: during the winter, love can grow dangerously cold or unstable just like the weather. However, in the spring, the season of rebirth, lovers recall the vows they made to each other and remember the proper way to treat each other. In terms of the story, however, the problem with this "season of love" is that it rekindles the romance between Launcelot and Guenever—the love affair that will eventually bring down Arthur's kingdom.

Unlike at other moments in the book, here women are not shown to be more scheming and treacherous than men: instead, both men and women are portrayed as similarly vulnerable to weakness, but also similarly capable of regaining strength and honor. However, the narrator also seems to suggest that the problems of love have something unexpected and uncontrollable about them, merely developing as a result of greater forces than the lovers themselves.

Book 21 Quotes

Through this man and me hath all this war been wrought, and the death of the most noblest knights of the world; for through our love that we have loved together is my most noble lord slain.

Related Characters: Queen Guenever (speaker), King Arthur, Sir Launcelot du Lake
Page Number: Vol 2, 523
Explanation and Analysis:

Launcelot has pursued Guenever who, after learning of the death of Arthur, has shut herself into a convent. Here Guenever is forced to reckon with her profound responsibility for the disintegration of the kingdom and the death of her husband. This is the first time, indeed, that she truly comes to terms with the implications of her adulterous love for Launcelot, a love that had long seemed able to coexist with her responsibilities and proper place as queen. The book has refrained from explicitly judging or condemning the affair between Guenever and Launcelot, although various characters have not refrained from doing so (even if usually for their own benefit or in their own interests). By putting an expression of regret into Guenever’s voice, the narrator continues to espouse more of an ambivalence than a condemnation. However, there is no doubt that Guenever feels deeply ashamed of her actions, as well as struck by the tragic power of love, which has wrought such destruction.

Then Sir Launcelot saw her visage, but he wept not greatly, but sighed.

Related Characters: Queen Guenever, Sir Launcelot du Lake
Page Number: Vol 2, 526
Explanation and Analysis:

Even after Guenever, having recognized the destructive power of her affair with Launcelot, had chosen to live in a convent rather than go away with him, Launcelot had not failed to be loyal to her. Now, at her death, Launcelot makes one last pilgrimage to his former lover in order to see her body and to carry it to be buried next to Arthur’s.

Throughout the book, many knights have expressed sorrow, pain, and anger loudly and with great fanfare, weeping and tearing at their hair and in general calling great attention to their feelings. It thus makes for a powerful contrast and telling change that Launcelot does not weep at his sorrow – instead, he merely sighs. Although a sigh might seem to express less emotion than tears, for Launcelot the sigh bears within it the burden of his responsibility and guilt for the destruction and death he has caused, and also for the love that has been called the most powerful in the kingdom. While Guenever was alive, Launcelot could at least share the responsibility with her, even if the two of them remained apart until her death. Now, however, only he is left alive and thus entirely alone with the remnants of the once great King Arthur’s court and Round Table. The sorrow he feels is shown to be too great even for tears.

Thou Sir Launcelot, there thou liest, that thou were never matched of earthly knight’s hand. And thou were the courteoust knight that ever bare shield. And thou were the truest friend to thy lover that ever bestrad horse. And thou were the truest lover of a sinful man that ever loved woman. And thou were the kindest man that ever struck with sword. And thou were the goodliest person that ever came among press of knights. And thou was the meekest man and the gentlest that ever ate in hall among ladies. And thou were the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest.

Related Characters: Sir Ector de Maris (speaker), Sir Launcelot du Lake
Page Number: Vol 2, 530
Explanation and Analysis:

As Launcelot had paid a visit to Guenever’s body to honor her at her burial, so too does his brother Sir Ector de Maris make his own pilgrimage to see Launcelot’s tomb and to honor his life. Ector’s words serve to recall Launcelot’s greatness – even if this greatness was marred at the end of his life by guilt and tragedy – through a series of superlatives, from “most curious” and “truest” to “meekest” and “gentlest.” Launcelot’s might, of course, largely lay in his powerful skill in jousting and in his chivalry among other knights. But Ector also acknowledges his qualities off the battlefield, at peacetime and among friends. Ector even suggests that his relationship with Guenever had much that was defensible and honorable about it, since his love for her was so powerful and he remained loyal to her at all costs. Ector’s final declaration thus underlines all the paradoxes and contradictions of Launcelot’s life, as the knight fought valiantly to fulfill the values of honor and chivalry, even as these values sometimes contradicted those of loyalty and love.

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Sir Launcelot du Lake Character Timeline in Le Morte d’Arthur

The timeline below shows where the character Sir Launcelot du Lake appears in Le Morte d’Arthur. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2
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...will slay the other. Merlin writes the two knights’ names in gold on Lanceor’s tomb: Launcelot du Lake and Tristram. King Mark asks Merlin’s name, but he refuses to tell. Merlin... (full context)
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...only the best knight in the world will be able to handle it, either Sir Launcelot or his son Galahad. Launcelot will, with this sword, kill the man he loves best,... (full context)
Book 3
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...any woman he loves, and Arthur responds with Guenever. Merlin warns Arthur that she and Launcelot will fall in love, but he also understands that when a man’s heart is set... (full context)
Book 4
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...where he speaks to King Ban and his wife Elaine, as well as his son Launcelot. Merlin foretells that Launcelot will take revenge against King Claudas (who had warred against Ban... (full context)
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...of the Lake would make it so that he never had to fight against Sir Launcelot. (full context)
Book 5
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...route the Roman prisoners are taking, so he sends 60,000 men to rescue them. Sir Launcelot and Sir Cador, in charge of the prisoners, send a knight to scout the woods,... (full context)
Book 6
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Chapter 1 Soon afterward there are many tournaments, in which Sir Launcelot du Lake proves his prowess above all. Queen Guenever favors him above all other knights,... (full context)
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Chapter 2 Sir Ector de Maris (Launcelot’s half-brother) had decided to follow Launcelot to join him. On the way Ector meets a... (full context)
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...throws him into prison, where he meets Sir Lionel, who tells him of having left Launcelot asleep. (full context)
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Chapter 3 Meanwhile, four queens approach Launcelot asleep under the apple tree, and begin to fight over who will win his love.... (full context)
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Chapter 4 A damsel comes bearing Launcelot’s dinner, and he confides his despair in her. She says that if Launcelot comes to... (full context)
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...knight to whom the pavilion belongs arrives, slips into the bed and begins to kiss Launcelot, who springs up and wounds him with his sword. The knight says that his lady... (full context)
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Chapter 6 The daughter of Bagdemagus meets Launcelot and sends for her father, who embraces him. Since there will be some of Arthur’s... (full context)
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Chapter 7 Launcelot du Lake then enters the fight and strikes down the King of Northgalis. Launcelot and... (full context)
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On the way Launcelot meets a beautiful damsel and asks what adventures there are in this area. She tells... (full context)
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...one jouster who is so skilled: his mortal enemy. Turquine declares that if this man (Launcelot) is not his enemy, he will deliver all his prisoners to him and will make... (full context)
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Launcelot declares that he is indeed Launcelot, and will defy Turquine. Turquine says they won’t depart... (full context)
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Chapter 9 Finally Turquine stumbles, and Launcelot leaps upon him and slices his neck open, killing him. Launcelot then goes to Gaheris... (full context)
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Chapter 10 Launcelot returns to the damsel (who told him about Turquine), and she tells him that a... (full context)
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Launcelot continues alone into the forest until he comes across a troll (“churl”) under a bridge,... (full context)
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Chapter 11 Launcelot ignores them and continues to the castle. Two giants approach him, but Launcelot kills them.... (full context)
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Launcelot continues on into many strange, wild lands. One night he lodges with an old woman.... (full context)
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Chapter 12 Launcelot rides out of the forest and into some meadows, where he sees a long bridge... (full context)
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Chapter 13 Launcelot rides into the forest and encounters knights of Arthur’s court, Gawaine, Uwaine, Ector de Maris,... (full context)
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Chapter 14 Launcelot continues into the forest and sees a black brachet, which he chases over a bridge... (full context)
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Chapter 15 Launcelot continues on to the Chapel Perilous, where he sees many knights, who all charge towards... (full context)
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Launcelot meets Sir Meliot’s sister, and she weeps with joy as they approach the wounded man.... (full context)
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Chapter 16 Launcelot rides through valleys until reaching a castle, where he sees a falcon above him. The... (full context)
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Chapter 17 Riding away, Launcelot sees a knight chasing a lady with a sword, and the lady calls to Launcelot... (full context)
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Chapter 28 Launcelot arrives in Camelot for Pentecost, reuniting with all the other knights. They all share stories... (full context)
Book 7
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Chapter 2 Gawaine is angry with Kay for mocking Beaumains, who is now eating sadly. Launcelot and Gawaine invite Beaumains to their chambers afterward, but he refuses. He remains meek and... (full context)
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...to undertake the damsel’s adventure, and secondly, he asks to be made a knight of Launcelot du Lake. Arthur agrees, but the damsel is upset that she is only granted the... (full context)
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Chapter 4 Sir Kay rides after Beaumains, against the wish of Launcelot and Gawaine. Beaumains sees him and says he is an ungentle knight. Kay runs toward... (full context)
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Chapter 5 Beaumains asks Launcelot to give him a knighthood: Launcelot says he must know his true name. He says... (full context)
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...that the damsel is Linet, and her sister is Dame Lionesse. When he learns that Launcelot has made Beaumains knight, he is impressed and praises him. Beaumains shares that his real... (full context)
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...explains that he once loved a lady whose brother was killed, she said, either by Launcelot or Gawaine, and she had him promise to fight daily until meeting with one of... (full context)
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...grant mercy. He decides to send the Knight to Arthur’s court to ask mercy from Launcelot and Gawaine. For 10 days they rest and recover, and then the Knight goes to... (full context)
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Chapter 26 Launcelot says they should send a messenger to Lionesse to come to court, so that they... (full context)
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...knights down, and Arthur himself is impressed by the “knight of many colors.” He asks Launcelot to joust with him, but Launcelot says that the knight has proved himself well enough... (full context)
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Chapter 29 The tournament lasts a long time, and though Launcelot strikes down other knights, when he meets Gareth, Gareth does his best not to hurt... (full context)
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...sent more conquered knights to Arthur than the best of the Round Table, except Sir Launcelot. Linet comes and heals the men’s wounds, then Gawaine sends her ahead to Arthur’s court.... (full context)
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...for Michaelmas (a Christian holiday), and announce it throughout the realm. Gareth grows close to Launcelot, but avoids Gawaine, who is growing jealous of him. (full context)
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...of the Round Table. Gareth’s brother Gaheris also marries Linet here. After all the jousting Launcelot and Tristram depart suddenly, displeasing Arthur. (full context)
Book 8
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...and Mark, knowing of Marhaus’s prowess, is worried. His barons counsel him to seek Sir Launcelot du Lake to fight, though others say that no knights of the Round Table will... (full context)
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...turns back to the castle and meets a damsel who asks if he is Sir Launcelot, since no other man could have conquered Palomides so successfully, but Tramtrist convinces her that... (full context)
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Chapter 15 One day Launcelot’s cousin, Bleoberis de Ganis, comes to King Mark to ask a gift: the fairest lady... (full context)
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...is the killer of Marhaus and the conqueror of Palomides. When Bleoberis says he is Launcelot’s cousin, Tristram says that he will fight no more for Launcelot’s sake. Bleoberis suggests they... (full context)
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...Tristram’s pavilion. She tells him that a great lady had given her the child of Launcelot to take care of, but a knight had thrown her from her horse and stolen... (full context)
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...slay him rather than make him yield, but Tristram is reluctant to kill him for Launcelot’s sake (Blamore is Launcelot’s cousin). Tristram kneels before the judges and asks them to take... (full context)
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...homage to Tristram, but meanwhile one knight rides to Breunor’s son, Sir Galahad (not Galahad, Launcelot’s son), and tells him what happened to his parents. (full context)
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...father’s custom was shameful. Galahad asks Tristram his name, and tells him to go to Launcelot du Lake and pledge allegiance to him: Tristram agrees to do so, saying he desires... (full context)
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Chapter 28 Tristram departs over the sea. Meanwhile Launcelot, riding, encounters Gawaine bound up by Sir Carados. Gawaine says that only Launcelot or Tristram... (full context)
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...Isoud says to tell Guenever that there are only four true lovers in this land: Launcelot and Guenever, and Tristram and Isoud. (full context)
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...is false it will spill. Morgan le Fay, knowing of the affair between Guenever and Launcelot, is sending the horn to Arthur. Lamorak orders the knight to send it to King... (full context)
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Meanwhile a knight from Brittany comes to Arthur’s court and tells of Tristram’s marriage. Launcelot cries that Tristram is untrue to his lady, and Launcelot sends the messenger to say... (full context)
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...his name, and Nabon says he has long wished to fight with either him or Launcelot. They clash, and Tristram kills Nabon, and then cuts off his son’s head. The citizens... (full context)
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...knight agrees but again wins. Lamorak rides after him and asks his name: he is Launcelot du Lake. Lamorak shares his name, and they embrace as fellow Round Table knights. Launcelot... (full context)
Book 9
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...avenged. He asks to be made knight. Lamorak and Gaheris recommend it, recalling that even Launcelot du Lake was unknown when he first arrived. (full context)
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Chapter 5 Meanwhile, Launcelot comes to Arthur’s court and hears of La Cote Male Taile’s exploits. Launcelot decides that... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Tristram sends a letter to Launcelot claiming that he has never slept with Isoud la Blanche Mains, and asking to renew... (full context)
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Chapter 6 Launcelot says he must go rescue that man. He fights against six knights outside the castle,... (full context)
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Chapter 7 Launcelot and La Cote Male Taile ride forward with Maledisant, who asks Launcelot for forgiveness for... (full context)
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...one may enter first. La Cote Male Taile asks to go in first, and while Launcelot is reluctant, he eventually yields. La Cote Male Taile meets and jousts with two brothers... (full context)
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...tells Plenorius to meet a better knight than himself back at the bridge. Plenorius meets Launcelot and they joust until Launcelot strikes him down and forces him to yield all his... (full context)
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...morning Lamorak rides into the forest and meets two knights, who say they are awaiting Launcelot, who killed their brother. Lamorak says they’ll never win. (full context)
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Chapter 13 Launcelot comes riding towards them, and he and Lamorak salute each other. Lamorak rides off, then... (full context)
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...each day with his knights, in the hopes that he’ll be killed. Nimue seeks out Launcelot or Tristram to help Arthur. She finds Tristram first, they ride to a castle, where... (full context)
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...Dinadan enter a forest, where they meet a damsel who is in love with Sir Launcelot, and has come to seek some knights to rescue him from 30 knights whom Morgan... (full context)
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...Maris, and Driant lodge where Tristram had fought the 30 knights, and there they meet Launcelot. (full context)
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Chapter 25 Launcelot, hearing of Tristram’s exploits, praises him. Meanwhile, Dinadan is lodged at a priory, where he... (full context)
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...better than Tristram thinks. Other knights begin to arrive before the official tournament starts, including Launcelot and a Welsh knight. They joust and Launcelot strikes the Welshman down. Others challenge Launcelot,... (full context)
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Chapter 29 Launcelot (still in disguise) jousts with Palomides as Tristram and Dinadan watch, and Tristram predicts Palomides... (full context)
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...knights. Tristram fights against Bors de Ganis, Ector de Maris, Blamore, and others, wounding many. Launcelot arrives and asks one of the wounded who hurt him: he says a devilish knight... (full context)
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Tristram sees the King with the Hundred Knights fight against 20 members of Launcelot’s family, and, ashamed, he tells the King not to fight so unevenly: instead Tristram will... (full context)
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Chapter 34 Finally Launcelot prepares to joust. Tristram’s spear breaks as they meet, and Launcelot accidentally wounds Tristram deeply,... (full context)
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Meanwhile Launcelot becomes the star of the tournament. Arthur is refreshed and joins in. Finally he gives... (full context)
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Chapter 35 Launcelot is praised and honored. But he is ashamed and goes to Arthur to suggest they... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Launcelot suggests that he and ten other knights swear never to rest until they find Tristram.... (full context)
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...returns to the castle. Uwaine carries Lucan to the Castle of Ganis, which is where Launcelot and the others would swear to their quest for Tristram. (full context)
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...Gaheris tells King Mark of the knight with the black shield. Mark guesses it was Launcelot or Tristram. Mark is afraid when Gaheris tells him it was Tristram, but Isoud is... (full context)
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...slay Andred, but Gaheris tells him not to. They ride out together, and then meet Launcelot. (full context)
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Launcelot, Kay, and Gaheris go out to seek Tristram in the country of Surluse. Meanwhile Dinadan,... (full context)
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...decreed a tournament, and to perform well for her there. The shield depicts Guenever and Launcelot, and Morgan wants Arthur to guess that Launcelot is having an affair with Guenever. It’s... (full context)
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...tells Ector de Maris that the shield was surely made by Morgan against her and Launcelot. Arthur continues to gaze at the knight and his shield and this frightens Guenever. Arthur... (full context)
Book 10
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...off his horse. Tristram says that he won’t fight any more. He departs, asking after Launcelot everywhere he goes, though no one has heard from him. Tristram rides by a forest... (full context)
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...other and battling for hours. They stop to rest, and ask each other their names. Launcelot reveals himself, and Tristram exclaims that he is Tristram: Launcelot is the man he loves... (full context)
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Chapter 6 Launcelot brings Tristram to court, where he is welcomed joyfully. He shares that he was meant... (full context)
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...jealous, so he sends a messenger, who reports that Tristram can vanquish all knights but Launcelot. Glad to hear it, Mark sneaks into England with two knights, Bersules and Amant. He... (full context)
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...in a chamber and rebukes him for fleeing. To scare him, Dinadan tells him that Launcelot is the leader of the group. Dinadan then returns to his friends, and says that... (full context)
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...they refused to kill Tristram. Arthur is furious, and Tristram weeps for the knights’ deaths. Launcelot asks permission to go out to seek Mark and bring him back to Camelot. Launcelot... (full context)
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...of their fixed meeting, realizing that this was the day of Tristram’s mighty battle with Launcelot. Dinadan promises to keep Palomides from harm, and to ensure that he is welcomed to... (full context)
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...to court and greets Tristram, who loves Dinadan more than any other knight other than Launcelot. Dinadan tells Arthur of Lamorak’s prowess, and Arthur hopes he comes to court soon. (full context)
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Chapter 21 Arthur announces a jousting tournament. Tristram, Launcelot, and Dinadan decide not to joust. Gawaine wins at first, but then a knight with... (full context)
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Launcelot goes to Mark and tells him to beware of treason, for if he betrays his... (full context)
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...killed his mother (who is also Arthur’s half-sister), he is furious and orders Gaheris out. Launcelot tells Arthur that he will surely lose Lamorak to Gawaine and his brothers. (full context)
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Chapter 26 A knight comes from Cornwall to Arthur’s court, and shares tidings of Tristram. Launcelot sends a damsel with a letter to Tristram warning him to be wary of Mark.... (full context)
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Chapter 27 Mark’s letter to Arthur hints at Guenever and Launcelot’s affair, but Arthur thinks that this is only a rumor started by Morgan le Fay,... (full context)
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...he hold a joust. Arthur tells Guenever to go without him. She says she’ll take Launcelot. (full context)
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Chapter 41 Launcelot comes to the jousting disguised, and strikes down his own half-brother, Ector de Maris, as... (full context)
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...them to stop. The knight reveals himself to be Lamorak. Guenever praises him, then asks Launcelot not to fight others of Arthur’s men. (full context)
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...fighting resumes, and Lamorak wins against many knights. Many others gang up against him, so Launcelot and Bagdemagus ride out to help him. At the end of the day Lamorak gets... (full context)
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...Galahalt is like a wolf, who will only eat flesh, not fish. When Dinadan tells Launcelot that he fears ever meeting him in battle. Launcelot says he hopes it will only... (full context)
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Chapter 49 On the 7th day, Launcelot puts on a maiden’s dress over his armor. He goes to the field and charges... (full context)
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...tournament in Cornwall, with the desire, out of envy, to kill or at least shame Launcelot. Mark decides to disguise Tristram so that Galahalt thinks he’s Launcelot. Seeing Tristram’s jousting, everyone... (full context)
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...Tristram and Isoud arrive to England, where Tristram joins a jousting of Arthur’s in disguise. Launcelot prepares to fight him, but Isoud sends him a ring and warns him it’s Tristram,... (full context)
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...prepares to fight Bleoberis. But Ector de Maris says Palomides will find his match in Launcelot or Tristram. Palomides says that only one person has been his match: Lamorak, but Gawaine... (full context)
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Tristram rides to Launcelot’s castle, where Launcelot is gone, and several knights have been killed. Tristram rides out to... (full context)
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...is being held. They recall the death of Sir Lamorak, once the best knight after Launcelot, and Tristram cries that he would kill the brothers who did it if they weren’t... (full context)
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...fight. The sons are less worried, however, once they learn that Palomides is not of Launcelot’s family. Palomides arrives to the city a few days later and is greatly praised, even... (full context)
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...promised to go to Arthur’s tournament, so he leaves. He meets Tristram at Joyous Gard, Launcelot’s castle, and Tristram and Dinadan rejoice at Palomides’ return. (full context)
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Chapter 68 Palomides suggests to Tristram that they fight against Arthur, since Launcelot and many other worthy knights will be on his side, so they will gain great... (full context)
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...strikes down 20 knights, and Tristram 30, mostly of the house of Arthur. Arthur tells Launcelot that this is shameful, and Launcelot offers to fight them alongside Bleoberis and Ector de... (full context)
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...de Maris then strikes down Palomides in revenge, so Tristram does the same to Ector. Launcelot gets up and cries that Palomides has done him more wrong than any knight has... (full context)
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...the prize again. Tristram orders Dinadan to fetch Isoud and bring her to his pavilion. Launcelot says to Arthur that he suspects Palomides is the green knight, and marvels that he... (full context)
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...well the next day, so Palomides won’t get the prize yet again. The narrator calls Launcelot and Tristram the greatest knights ever seen. (full context)
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Chapter 73 In the morning Launcelot departs and Tristram prepares to ride in with Isoud, Palomides, and Gareth. Watching from a... (full context)
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...enflamed, rides into the thick of the fighting and does just as well as Palomides. Launcelot tells Arthur, as they watch, that this must be Tristram. (full context)
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Chapter 75 Launcelot enters the fray and performs well, but refuses to fight against Tristram. Arthur remarks that... (full context)
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...watching from the bay window, sees everything, and begins to weep in anger at Palomides. Launcelot rides between them and asks if he might replace Palomides. Not realizing it’s Tristram, Launcelot... (full context)
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...to fight, but finally Dinadan gets Tristram’s horse and calls out his name on purpose. Launcelot exclaims that’s he’s dishonored for having fought Tristram, and asks Tristram to forgive him. That... (full context)
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...to see Isoud. They take off their helmets, and Dinadan tells Tristram that they are Launcelot and Arthur. They all embrace and disarm. Arthur praises Isoud’s beauty and Tristram’s prowess. Arthur... (full context)
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...Palomides does well at first, but then Tristram performs even better. Arthur disguises himself with Launcelot, and Tristram strikes Arthur down without knowing. Launcelot strikes down 30 knights, though his side... (full context)
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...tears, bemoaning his lost honor. The prize for the day is shared between Tristram and Launcelot. Bleoberis and Ector de Maris come upon Palomides and bring them along with him. When... (full context)
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...morning the knights bind Palomides and take him to the slain knight’s father. They pass Launcelot’s castle, where Palomides calls out to a knight to send his best wishes to Tristram.... (full context)
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...still angry, but vows not to let Palomides die shamefully. Meanwhile the knights pass by Launcelot, who recognizes Palomides. The knights tell him not to meddle, but Launcelot says he’s too... (full context)
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Chapter 86 Tristram doesn’t recognize Launcelot until he takes off his helmet, and they embrace. Launcelot leaves after a few days,... (full context)
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...find him. Instead he fights other battles: people begin to marvel at him rather than Launcelot, annoying his kinsmen. But Launcelot orders them never to hurt Tristram. (full context)
Book 11
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Chapter 1 We move from Tristram to Launcelot and his son, Galahad. Around the time of Galahad’s birth a hermit comes to Arthur’s... (full context)
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After the feast Launcelot rides to the bridge of Corbin, where people gathered around a tower ask for help.... (full context)
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Chapter 2 The king, King Pelles, cousin of Joseph of Arimathea, asks Launcelot his name, and brings him to the castle to praise him. A young, beautiful lady... (full context)
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Chapter 3 When Launcelot rises in the morning the enchantment is gone: he gets his sword and cries that... (full context)
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Chapter 4 Launcelot’s nephew Sir Bors de Ganis comes by the bridge of Corbin and jousts with Bromel,... (full context)
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Chapter 6 The old man tells Sir Bors to go to Launcelot and tell him of his adventure. The old man says that even though Launcelot has... (full context)
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...Brisen to the feast. Arthur and Guenever welcome her, as do all the knights but Launcelot, who is ashamed and refuses to speak to her. Elaine tells Brisen how hurt she... (full context)
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Chapter 8 That night Brisen comes to Launcelot’s bed, disguised, and says Guenever is waiting. She brings him to Elaine of Corbin’s bed.... (full context)
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Chapter 9 Elaine of Corbin sees all of this, and rebukes Guenever for driving Launcelot mad, and for betraying her own husband, whereas she (Elaine) has no one else to... (full context)
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...when she awakes she asks Bors de Ganis, Ector de Maris, and Lionel to find Launcelot, since she believes he’s gone mad. They ride all over the land for months, but... (full context)
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Meanwhile Launcelot suffers hunger, cold, and thirst. Aglovale and Percivale stop at their mother’s home, who weeps... (full context)
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...They fight for hours. Finally Percivale asks the other’s name: it’s Sir Ector de Maris, Launcelot’s brother. Percivale says he’s on a quest to find Launcelot. Ector asks Percivale to bring... (full context)
Book 12
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Chapter 1 Launcelot meanwhile is wandering from place to place. He comes across a meadow where he finds... (full context)
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Chapter 2 Bliant’s brother comes and they bring Launcelot to Castle Blank, where they feed Launcelot and bring him back to strength over the... (full context)
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The brothers praise Launcelot, and Bliant feels sorry for having bound him. Launcelot stays there half a year more.... (full context)
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Chapter 3 Launcelot finds a horse, spear, and sword tied to a tree and rides after the boar.... (full context)
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Launcelot wanders into the city of Corbin, home to Elaine of Corbin. All the youths of... (full context)
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Chapter 4 King Pelles’ nephew is made knight one day, and sends for the town’s fool—Launcelot—to give him a scarlet robe. Launcelot goes into a garden to sleep. Elaine of Corbin... (full context)
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Chapter 5 When Launcelot recognizes Elaine of Corbin and King Pelles, he is ashamed and asks how he’s come... (full context)
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Chapter 6 Pelles’ nephew goes to see Launcelot, who calls himself “Le Chevaler Mal Fet,” that is, the knight that has trespassed. Castor... (full context)
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Chapter 7 Launcelot calls for a tournament on the Joyous Isle, and Launcelot defeats 500 knights. Percivale and... (full context)
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Chapter 8 Launcelot kneels and reveals who he is. Percivale says he and Ector de Marishave been seeking... (full context)
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Chapter 9 Meanwhile, Sir Bors de Ganis and Lionel have also been seeking Launcelot. They come to the house of Brandegore, where Bors had conceived a child with the... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Ector de Maris and Percivale ask Launcelot to return with them to Arthur, but Launcelot says he cannot. Ector says that Arthur... (full context)
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Chapter 10 Within five days they arrive at Camelot, where all rejoice at Launcelot’s return. Arthur says he’s assumed that Launcelot left because of love of Elaine of Corbin,... (full context)
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Chapter 11 Meanwhile Tristram has gained even greater renown. Tristram and Isoud speak of Launcelot’s return, and decide to go to court for the celebratory feast. Isoud, though, says she... (full context)
Book 13
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Chapter 1 At the feast of Pentecost, a damsel comes from King Pelles to seek Launcelot. Launcelot rides with the damsel into a forest and valley where there is an abbey.... (full context)
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Chapter 2 Galahad refuses to accompany Launcelot to Arthur’s court, however, instead leaving with Bors de Ganis and Lionel. At court, new... (full context)
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...that this is who must achieve the Sangreal. They notice how much he looks like Launcelot, and Guenever says he must be the son of Launcelot and Elaine of Corbin. Arthur... (full context)
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...as he was dying. Then a lady on a white horse comes, weeping, to tell Launcelot that from now on he will not be the best knight in the world, as... (full context)
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...knights to have a great tournament. Galahad wins against every knight, except for Percivale and Launcelot. (full context)
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Chapter 7 Guenever asks Galahad to take off his helmet, and says this must be Launcelot’s son. They are distantly related to Jesus Christ, she says, so they must be the... (full context)
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...Galahad where he comes from, and praises his lineage. In the morning Arthur goes to Launcelot and asks if there’s a way for the quest to be undone so his knights... (full context)
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Launcelot follows Guenever into her chamber, where she says he’s betrayed her by leaving. Launcelot says... (full context)
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Chapter 17 Meanwhile Galahad departs from the Castle of Maidens and, disguised, meets Percivale and Launcelot. Galahad strikes them both down. A woman nearby marvels, saying this knight is the best... (full context)
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Chapter 18 Half asleep, Launcelot sees two horses bearing a sick knight, who asks when he might be blessed by... (full context)
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Chapter 19 Launcelot wonders if he dreamed this. Then he hears a voice telling him to leave this... (full context)
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Launcelot continues to a hill where there is a hermitage, and enters for mass. The hermit... (full context)
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Chapter 20 Launcelot, weeping, tells the hermit all about how his glory was accomplished for a woman whom... (full context)
Book 15
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Chapter 1 Meanwhile Launcelot departs from the hermitage and sees a chapel, with an old man lying inside in... (full context)
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The good man and Launcelot marvel at the story. When Launcelot tells the good man of his quest, he says... (full context)
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Chapter 3 Launcelot goes to sleep and has a vision of a man coming to him with a... (full context)
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...various countries. One of the knights was Galahad, whom none will equal. The hermit counsels Launcelot to let it be known that Galahad is his son, and to never fight with... (full context)
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Chapter 5 Launcelot leaves the next day and rides into a plain next to a castle, where 500... (full context)
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Chapter 6 Launcelot tells the recluse of his vision and of the tournament. She tells him that he... (full context)
Book 16
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Chapter 2 Ector de Maris, meanwhile, dreams that he and his brother Launcelot are riding, and a man beats Launcelot and drags him to a well. Launcelot stops... (full context)
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Chapter 4 Then Nacien tells Ector de Maris that he and Launcelot both go in search of what they will never find. Launcelot falling off his horse... (full context)
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...not met with many adventures: Nacien says that they have been too great of sinners. Launcelot, he says, will die a holy man, since he has not murdered anyone since repenting.... (full context)
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...return her love she’ll soon die. But if he goes to her then his cousin, Launcelot, will die. He must choose one or the other. The priest leads Bors into a... (full context)
Book 17
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Chapter 13 Percivale and Galahad leave each other. Meanwhile, Launcelot has heard in a dream to seek out a ship. He does so, and when... (full context)
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Chapter 14 One Monday Galahad and Launcelot find a knight in white armor, who asks Galahad to leave his adventures with his... (full context)
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Chapter 15 Launcelot hears a sweet song from inside, and he realizes the Sangreal must be there. Finally... (full context)
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Chapter 16 On the 25th day Launcelot’s eyes open, and he tells those gathered around him that he has seen great marvels,... (full context)
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Chapter 17 Launcelot then departs for England. He comes to a white abbey and sees an altar with... (full context)
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...goes to Percivale and Bors and kisses them, asking them to send his blessings to Launcelot. Galahad kneels down and prays to God, and then a great number of angels bear... (full context)
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...the stories are written down into books and placed in the Salisbury libraries. Bors gives Launcelot blessings from Galahad, and Launcelot thanks him, swearing to be loyal to him forever. (full context)
Book 18
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Chapter 1 Some time after the quest of the Sangreal, Launcelot forgets his promise and begins to sleep with Guenever again. Many in the court gossip... (full context)
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Chapter 2 Then Guenever weeps and calls Launcelot false. She sends him out of the court, saying she never wants to see him... (full context)
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...15 days, and if none steps forward, she’ll be burnt at the stake. Arthur thinks Launcelot would do it, but they don’t know where he is. Arthur tells Guenever to ask... (full context)
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...and begs him. Arthur enters and cries for Bors to have mercy on her, for Launcelot’s sake. Bors promises to do so for his sake, unless another comes forward. Bors then... (full context)
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...his helmet and take a sip of wine. When he does, all see that it’s Launcelot, who says it’s to his honor to prevent shame on his king and queen. The... (full context)
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...countries. The queen says she is sick and cannot go, which many assume is because Launcelot is still wounded and won’t attend. (full context)
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Chapter 9 Launcelot, after Guenever tells him of these rumors, says he’ll go to the tournament himself, but... (full context)
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Launcelot asks the baron to lend him a shield, so that he might not be known,... (full context)
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Chapter 10 In the morning all ride to Winchester (another name for Camelot). Launcelot lodges secretly with Sir Lavaine. Many different battles begin, and the knights of the Round... (full context)
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Chapter 11 Launcelot asks Lavaine to help him chase the Round Table knights back. They strike down many... (full context)
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Chapter 12 The king blows the day-end’s horn, and the foreign kings ask Launcelot to receive the prize for them. He begs them to allow him to leave, since... (full context)
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Chapter 13 The hermit doesn’t recognize Launcelot initially, but then realizes who he is. The hermit staunches his blood and forces him... (full context)
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...to be recognized by his. When she shows Gawaine this shield, he recognizes it as Launcelot’s, and he marvels because Launcelot has never worn a lady’s token. Now he worries that... (full context)
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...learns of Elaine le Blank and the red sleeve. She sends for Bors and says Launcelot is a traitor, and refuses to listen when Bors says Launcelot must have worn the... (full context)
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...until he finds Lavaine, who brings him to the hermitage. Bors is distraught at seeing Launcelot pale and weak in bed, and he begs Launcelot for forgiveness for wounding the noblest... (full context)
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Chapter 17 Once Launcelot is recovered, Sir Bors tells him of a great tournament that is taking place between... (full context)
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Chapter 18 Bors leaves for Arthur’s court and shares news of Launcelot, telling the queen that Launcelot was in such a hurry and risked his life for... (full context)
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Then Bors departs again and meets Launcelot, who is much improved. Bors tells him news of the jousting, and then they leave... (full context)
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Chapter 19 When Elaine le Blank realizes Launcelot is leaving her at Astolat, she asks him to have mercy on her and to... (full context)
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...refuses to eat or drink. 10 days later, before dying, she says she only loved Launcelot: loving him too much was her only sin. She dictates a letter to her father,... (full context)
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...as Elaine le Blank and asks for a mass and burial, as well as for Launcelot to pray for her soul. Launcelot grows sorrowful when he learns of the lady’s death.... (full context)
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Chapter 21 Many jousts take place during that Christmas: Launcelot jousts rarely, but Lavaine always joins in and does better than almost all. Arthur decides... (full context)
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Launcelot and Lavaine decide to travel to a hermit to rest before the tournament. Every day... (full context)
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Chapter 22 The lady hunter protests that her hand swerved, and she leaves Launcelot, who limps to the hermitage. The hermit gets the arrow out, and Launcelot, though still... (full context)
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...and knights, and the knights of the Round Table begin to triumph over those of Launcelot’s kin. Then Launcelot comes and strikes down Gawaine, Agravaine, Gaheris, and Palomides. Arthur is angry,... (full context)
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Chapter 24 The tournament lasts until night. Gawaine tells Arthur that he assumes Launcelot is the knight with a gold sleeve, and the knights next to him must be... (full context)
Book 19
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...ladies. Sir Meliagrance is in love with the queen, but fears to approach her when Launcelot is there. Now Launcelot is absent, so he thinks he’ll try his luck. (full context)
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...from battle, Guenever whispers to a child of her chamber to take her ring to Launcelot and tell him what’s happened. Meliagrance takes Guenever to his castle. Meanwhile the child finds... (full context)
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Chapter 4 Launcelot rides as quickly as he can. He reaches the place of battle, and then follows... (full context)
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Guenever spies an armed knight approaching in a chariot. She realizes it’s Launcelot, who races to the castle gates, calling for the treacherous Meliagrance, and killing the porter... (full context)
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Chapter 5 Meliagrance hears that Launcelot is approaching, and quickly falls to his knees before Guenever to ask for mercy. He... (full context)
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Chapter 6 That knight, Launcelot takes his sword and sneaks into the garden, where he can speak to Guenever from... (full context)
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Chapter 7 Launcelot comes in as Meliagrance is triumphantly making his point, and says that it was shameful... (full context)
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Chapter 8 Launcelot lies in the cave in pain, and every day a lady brings him food or... (full context)
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Chapter 9 Meanwhile, Guenever is brought to a fire to be burnt, since Launcelot has not appeared at his battle with Meliagrance. Lavaine asks Arthur’s permission to fight instead,... (full context)
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Chapter 12 Arthur asks himself where Launcelot is. Finally Launcelot arrives to make his attempt, but he’s afraid of the shame if... (full context)
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...best that day: Arthur gives them each a barony. Urre and Lavaine swear to defend Launcelot forever. There is a time of peace at court, though Agravaine continues to wait to... (full context)
Book 20
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...One day in May, Agravaine says openly, among many knights, that it is shameful for Launcelot to sleep with the queen, and for them to all know it and do nothing.... (full context)
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Chapter 2 Agravaine announces to Arthur that everyone knows of Launcelot’s affair with Guenever. Arthur is reluctant to believe it, since Launcelot has done so much... (full context)
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Chapter 3 Launcelot goes to the queen’s chamber, and Agravaine, Mordred, and their knights surround them, calling to... (full context)
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Chapter 4 Launcelot opens the door such that only one knight can enter. Launcelot dodges his sword and... (full context)
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Chapter 5 Launcelot escapes to Sir Bors, and tells him everything, saying that civil war has now come... (full context)
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Chapter 6 Sir Bors counsels Launcelot to attempt to protect Guenever above all: regardless of the morality of their former actions,... (full context)
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Chapter 7 Mordred, having escaped from Launcelot, rides wounded to Arthur and tells him what happened. Arthur cries that he is greatly... (full context)
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...participate. Weeping, Gawaine returns to his chamber, while the queen is brought to the stake. Launcelot’s squire, who has been spying on the queen, alerts him that her death is being... (full context)
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...deaths for now, but someone sneaks off to tell Gawaine. Gawaine refuses to believe that Launcelot killed his brothers. (full context)
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Chapter 10 When Gawaine rushes to Arthur, Arthur tells him that Launcelot killed his brothers accidentally. Gawaine swears never to rest until he or Launcelot kills the... (full context)
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Chapter 11 Then one day Launcelot calls to Arthur and Gawaine to ask them to give up the siege rather than... (full context)
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...of compromise. They prepare to do battle, and in the morning all the knights meet: Launcelot asks his followers to spare Gawaine and Arthur if they can. (full context)
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...many more are slain. Sir Bors strikes down Arthur and prepares to kill him, but Launcelot orders him not to, and he rehorses Arthur and asks him to stop the battle.... (full context)
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Chapter 14 Arthur wants to agree but Gawaine won’t make peace with Launcelot. Launcelot agrees to bring Guenever to Arthur in eight days, and they ride together to... (full context)
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Chapter 15 Launcelot cries that he’s brought Guenever according to the Pope’s command. He tells Arthur of Agravaine’s... (full context)
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...says that the king can do as he wishes, but he himself will never forgive Launcelot. Launcelot says he is just as sorry to have killed Gawaine’s brothers, and he offers... (full context)
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Chapter 17 Launcelot, weeping, cries that he regrets ever coming into this kingdom, since he’s now leaving it... (full context)
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Chapter 28 A hundred knights leave with Launcelot for Benwick (Bayonne), and they become lords of these French lands. Launcelot crowns his knights... (full context)
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Chapter 29 Meanwhile Arthur and Gawaine prepare a great army to fight against Launcelot’s people. They sail to Benwick and lay waste to the lands. All Launcelot’s knights variously... (full context)
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...tells the messenger that he hasn’t forgotten his promise to kill or be killed by Launcelot. Launcelot, hearing the answer, weeps. In the morning, Arthur’s knights besiege the city of Benwick.... (full context)
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Chapter 21 Gawaine and Launcelot come together, and their horses fall to the earth. They continue on foot, both wounding... (full context)
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...Gawaine lies wounded for 3 weeks. Finally he returns to the castle gates and orders Launcelot to come down. Launcelot and Gawaine fight again for three hours: then again Gawaine’s strength... (full context)
Book 21
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...Arthur (who is alive) has heard of his siege, and is pausing the fight with Launcelot to avenge himself on Mordred. Mordred draws many knights to fight with him, since many... (full context)
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...half-dead in a boat. Arthur weeps of sorrow, crying that he’s now lost Gawaine and Launcelot, the two men he most loves. Gawaine cries that he caused all this pain and... (full context)
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...prepare to meet a third time, on an upcoming Monday. Many of those who love Launcelot join Mordred’s side. The night before the battle, Arthur dreams that he is dressed in... (full context)
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Chapter 5 Arthur cries that none of this would have happened if Launcelot were here. Lucan tries to lift up Arthur, but falls on account of his own... (full context)
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Chapter 8 The narrator returns to an earlier moment, and says that Launcelot learns of Mordred’s treachery through Gawaine’s letter, which has grieved him deeply. Launcelot prepares to... (full context)
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Chapter 9 Launcelot finds Guenever in her convent. Guenever cries that Arthur is dead because of her and... (full context)
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Chapter 10 Launcelot and Guenever depart, both weeping. Launcelot rides to a hermitage, where he meets Bedivere and... (full context)
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Chapter 11 Launcelot goes with other knights to Almesbury. He sees the body of Guenever, and he doesn’t... (full context)
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Chapter 12 Afterward Launcelot eats and drinks little, and grows weaker and weaker. Six weeks later, he falls to... (full context)
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...Maris comes to Joyous Gard to see the tomb of his brother. He cries that Launcelot was never matched by any knight, and was a true friend and lover, and was... (full context)