The narrative structure of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur
The efforts of the critics of Sir Thomas Malory's romance, Le Morte Darthur, seem to have been confined for the most part to two phases of Malory's work, namely, to the prose sytle and to the relation of the work to its sources. Judgements of Malory's narrative power there are in plenty; but no scanty are they so frequently in direct conflict one with another, that they impress the reader as emotional rather than scientific. There is a wide gulf between the estimate of Hallam, who calls the Morte Darthur "a translation from several French romances, though written in a very spirited manner" 1), and that of Mr. George M. Harper 2), who maintains that Malory "cannot be denied great orginality, both for substance and arragement." The judgement of the student, moreover, is often obscured by a comparison between some passage in Malory and the corresponding passage in an older romance, sometiems to the disadvantage of Malory's work so far as the particular episode itself is concerned.
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