The ascetic, and arguably peaceful deaths of Lancelot and Guinevere as narrated in Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur in 1400 do not gibe with the masculine tale of duty Howard Pyle fashioned out of the Arthurian tradition for a twentieth-century American middle-class boy reader. In the final book of his four book Arthuriad, The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur, Pyle reverses the roles set by Malory, making Launcelot an anti-model of disloyalty and Gawain the surprisingly dutiful hero who manly fights to the death instead of passively entering death as does Launcelot. In Pyle’s retelling, adherence to duty replaces chivalry and ultimately replaces even celestial redemption for earthly sin and death. His retelling is for a reader who is encouraged above all to be overly concerned with how his dutiful actions affect others in the here and now, not in the hereafter.
|Title of host publication||"Death as ‘Neglect of Duty’ in Howard Pyle's The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur,"|
|Publisher||D. S. Brewer|
|State||Published - Oct 2009|