skip to main | skip to sidebar

Morte d' Arthur

Of Caxton's printed works, a specific mention is to be made of Morte d' Authur by Sir Thomas Malory. Malory was actually not the author, but compiler, and the compilation was supposed to be finished in 1469. No original manuscript of the work is known, and though Caxton certainly revised it, the extent of his revision or editing has remained yet unknown. As a matter of fact, in Caxton's printing, the original work is found changed with some revisions of the text and the addition of a Prologue to the work, which contains his introduction as well as review of Malory's prose romance. This Prologue is quite interesting and well reveals Caxton's literary taste and talent.

Indeed, Malory's work is no original literary creation, but a work of mere compilations. The author has simply retold old narratives, but, at the same time, he is found to have condensed and arranged the tales to present a comprehensive account of king Arthur and his knights and their achievements in various spheres. 

Malory's rendering of Arthurian romances into prose episodes is definitely an admirable achievement. He gives these romances a kind of naturalness which is felt so much necessary to make them convincing to a distant age. Moreover, Malory's prose-style is simple, spontaneous, though marked with archaism. This has suited to the creation of an appropriate environment for the tales that are fascinating yet strange. The work is a rich store-house of the Arthurian cycles of legends to cater to the creative imagination of the later literary artists. This is, as described by popularity was unique in its own age, and even today, this has a fascinating effect on many modern readers.


Post a Comment

Back To Top