An Epic Hero for Modern Times In about 1470, Thomas Malory finished Morte d Arthur, the first if many legends written about King Arthur, even in modern times, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are favorite subjects in movies, books, and plays. Oftentimes this is so because the medieval period in general, and King Arthur in particular, have an air of mystery, romance, fantasy, and adventure that are popular themes in all times and cultures. I compared Malory's "Morte d Arthur" with Camelot, a movie produced in 1967 that stars Richard Harris as King Arthur and Ven nessa Redgrave as Guenevere. These two pieces of work can be compared in the forms of mood, tone, and characterization of a few key figures, however plot cannot be contrasted because Camelot proceeds directly after "Morte d Arthur" these legends are particularly favorable to compare. The reason being that the creators of the stories take different views and portrayals then how the legends were originally contrived. One difference in character that I found was that in the introduction to "Morte d Arthur", Mordred is referred to as King Arthur's nephew.
Later in the text, when Arthur and Mordred are fighting. ".. So he's moted his father King Arthur with his sword hold on in both hands, upon the side of his head [p. 96, para. 1]. And in Camelot Mordred his Arthur's illegitimate son, al-though he keeps this is secret this possibly explains the contradiction of Mordred's position in the two pieces. Another difference in the two works was that in Camelot, Mordred tells Arthur, "I despise the sword, loathe the spear, and detest the horses. yet in "Morte d Arthur" Mordred and Arthur fight and before Arthur kills him, Mordred wounds Arthur badly.
In Ma-lory's work, I got the feeling that Mordred was a big, burly, night that loves a good fight. Yet in Camelot Mordred is a devilish looking, puny, scheming, young man who turns down Arthur' offer of knighthood because he Is sim-ply not that type. Yet in both works Mordred turns the Knights against each other which destroys Round Table and brings King Arthur's entire world crashing down. The mood and tone of Camelot and Morte d Arthur differ in most parts. The Majority of Camelot is cheerful, bright, and hopeful as Arthur creates a new society of "Might for right". Only towards the end of the movie when the viewer is overcome with a sense of sadness an impending catastrophe does the mood changed to one of a fatalistic tragedy.
Ones can-not help but wonder about the part that fate played in the society where the legends of King Arthur were created. Like "Romeo and Juliet", written about 120 years after Morte d Arthur, which is filled with references to star crossed lovers. Camelot and Morte d Arthur could be examined from the standpoint of fate in regards to character actions. Case in point, had Lancelot not decided to come to Camelot to join in the Round Table, and Mordred had never been told that Arthur was his father, Camelot may have never been destroyed. The excerpt of Morte d Arthur is a more mysterious, magical and perhaps realistic view of the medieval period than Camelot, however, both works provide a glance back into the world of one of the favorite epic he-roes of modern times..