In these selections, the reader learns how the envy
and hatred of the romance between Queen Guinevere and
Sir Lancelot starts the fall of King Arthur and his court.
Sir Agravain and Sir Mordred know of the love affair, and
they tell King Arthur who has been ignoring the situation.
The two knights devise a plan to catch Lancelot and Guinevere
together; the king goes hunting, leaving the queen alone.
Although Sir Bors tries to stop Lancelot, he goes to
Guinevere and the lovers are caught.
Lancelot fights his way out of the Queen's
chambers and flees from the court. However, in his escape,
Lancelot kills eleven men, and two of the victims are Gawain's
brothers. While Sir Gawain, the King and his loyal knights go
to avenge these deaths in a foreign land, Sir Mordred
betrays his father and takes over the kingdom. They are forced
to return, so they can fight to regain control of the
kingsom. Sir Gawain is killed in battle by Mordred's
Merlin's prophecy states that Arthur will
die at Mordred's hands, so he sends Sir Gawain's spirit to warn
Arthur to seek a temporary truce. Just before this meeting,
both sides warn their men to make sure no swords are
drawn. War breaks out after a soldier thoughtlessly draws
his sword to kill a snake. King Arthur is fatally
King Arthur's dying request is for Sir
Bedivere to throw the Excalibur into the lake, but Bedivere's
greed temporarily prevails over his loyalty. He lies twice
to Arthur about throwing the sword back. On his third trip
to the water, he fulfills Arthur's dying wish. Sir
Bedivere brings King Arthur to the magical barge that will take
him to Avalon.
Queen Guinevere then becomes a nun at
Amesbury, asking, just before she dies, to be buried next to
King Arthur. Lancelot, who has become a priest, dreams
of Guinevere's death three times, arriving just after she
dies. He performs the funeral mass and makes sure her
request is fulfilled. Struck by guilt, Lancelot tries to atone
for his sins by starving himself to
Trinity, Bible Historiale. 1357