The Story Of The Grail By Chretien De Troyes

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Over the past month, we read the Story of the Grail by Chretien de Troyes. This poem details the progression of the knight Perceval. In the beginning, Perceval is not called by his name, instead he is referred to as “the youth”. This is an important detail to stress, because the poem is a coming of age story. As the poem progresses, the reader is able to see definitive changes in Perceval’s character. For example, in the beginning of the poem Perceval uses the limited knowledge that was bestowed upon him by his mother in order to complete his “knightly” duties. To make it worse, Perceval feels the need to tell everyone he meets that his mother is the one that taught him everything he knows. Eventually, Perceval outgrows this behavior and becomes a suitable knight. Throughout the poem, Perceval goes through many trials and tribulations, but for the purpose of this essay I will unravel the allegorical meaning of Perceval’s fight with the Red Knight using all four levels of interpretation. As Perceval rides towards the court of King Arthur, he meets the Red Knight at the gate of the castle. When Perceval sees the Red Knights armor, he decides that he will have it for himself. Perceval rides up to the Red Knight and tells him, “By my faith, I’ll ask the king to give me [your] armor.” The Red Knight does not see this as a threat from the Welsh boy. He tells Perceval to go to King Arthur and tell the king to send a champion to fight him if the king wants his cup back. Perceval

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