Arthurian Fan Fiction. Alex Mueller Adam Overbay Christine Sands Kate Unruh. Knights Who Write. The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle (ca. 1450) Ye, Sir, make good chere; Lett make your hors redy To ryde into straunge contrey; And evere wheras ye mete owther man
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The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
Ye, Sir, make good chere;
Lett make your hors redy
To ryde into straunge contrey;
And evere wheras ye mete owther man
or woman, in faye,
Ask of them whate they therto saye.
And I shalle also ryde anoder waye
And enquere of every man and woman, and get whatt I may
Of every man and woman answere,
And in a boke I shalle them wryte. (182-90)
The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
Syr Gawen had goten answerys so many
That had made a boke greatt, wytterly;
To the courte he cam agayn.
By that was the kyng comyn withe hys boke,
And eyther on others pamplett dyd loke. (207-11)
O, weep for me my blessèd Mother
For I mourn my sweet Lancelot’s death
I fear to ever love another
And now gone is my only life’s breath
So forgive me mother, I have sinned
Please forgive your daughter her great strife
My bold transgressions do I rescind
And to you will I devote my life!
So many men fell this evil day
So many knights that I had cherished
My Lancelot, Bevidere, and Kay
All on the cold earth they lay perished
So Gawain too, his life was taken
But valiant Arthur avenged us all
And Mordred his ranks had forsaken
But on him did Arthur’s rage befall!
O, weep for me, Virgin Mother blessed,
O, weep for your daughter, Guinevere
For my heart has stopped within my breast
And gone are my king and chevalier
Now to Avalon the king went hence
And my Lancelot went in the ground
For he died bravely in my defense
And King Arthur’s mortal wounds abound!
. . .
Then back to Camelot we did fly
And to the table round we did go
Merrily road we like times gone by
And of our affair no one didst know
For Lord King Arthur has my Reason
But the Knight of the Cart has my Love
Dear Mother I know this is Treason
But I felt your consent from above!
. . .
“You are truly wise, and in defending my honesty I find you a worthy friend resembling the very virtuous qualities known of Arthur’s court. It is known that you have the ability of foresight, so you are all-knowing. You also have never used your ability to deceive Arthur or any other being, as you are a good and gentle queen.” Isolde looked upon her observers, then continued, “Everyone here has heard the wise and trustworthy queen speak, telling it just as I have; no other beside the leper and my husband has been between my thighs .” Isolde spoke loudly, glancing quickly at Mark to make sure he too believed in her honesty.
“You think I am defending your honesty, fair Isolde? While it is true that I have acknowledged the truth within your oath, I would claim that I did more defending of your belief in love than in honesty. After all, love is what brings you here in front of us all and begs you to reconcile with your husband and his barons.” Gwendoloena turned to King Arthur, “Wouldn’t you agree, my lord? There is nothing so strong as devoted and undying love.”
Hearing this exchange, Arthur was pleased and said to Bedwyr, “You are wise in both words and war, good Bedwyr, and would make a fine mentor for the child. The court of Mawrchas become weak with Norman courtesy. I bid you to take the boy as your squire, and teach him the ways of our court. Make him both warlike and wise, and aid him on whatever quest he may be about.”
Bedwyrsaid, “As you wish it, my liege. I will raise him to be a worthy knight.”
So it was that Bedwyrtook the boy as a squire, and taught him the proper ways of the Arthur’s court. When Bedwyr and Kei were sent out on errands and quests for the King, Trwstandid accompany them as well.
[Missing text, assumed to be enumerations of the people at Arthur’s Court.]
There came a time when Mwrholt, an Irish giant, threatened the court of Arthur and demanded tributes of children and livestock from the local lords as well as the peasants. Arthur sent Bedwyr and Kei to the court of Mwrholtto settle the dispute. Together, with Trwstan, they rode seven days into the wilderness seeking the giant’s hall
At dusk on the seventh day they came to a house in the woods and a woman ran out to meet them. Before she could embrace the neck of Kei, he thrust a branch between her hands, and she twisted it into a twig, saying, “Woman, had you squeezed my neck, I would never love another again!” Then when she saw Trwstan, she fell to her knees and wept, saying “You had best turn back!”
Bedwyrinquired of her, “Why would you say such a thing? What peril do you think us in?”
The woman answered, “The giant Mwrholthas carried away and killed twenty-three of my sons and he shall do the same to your young squire!”
Kei replied, “By the hand of my friend, he will do no such thing! Tell us where this giant keeps his Hall and we will avenge your twenty-three sons and return to you any livestock he has taken as well.” So the woman did this, and the three companions rode to the court of Mwrholt.
“A relativistic attitude toward scholarly arguments (for example, ‘everyone is entitled to his own opinion’) is harder to maintain, I would argue, once a student has committed to shaping a fictional voice in a particular way.”
Moira Fitzgibbons, ‘“Cross-voiced’ Assignments and the Critical ‘I,’” in Teaching Chaucer, ed. Gail Ashton (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 65-80, at 74.