Castles play an integral part in Malory's Morte Darthur; Camelot, Tintagel, Joyous Gard, and Dover, for example, are the crucial backdrop to the action and both host and shape the story as it moves through them. But despite this, Malory's castles have received limited scholarly attention. As the first monograph to look extensively at either castles or space in Malory, this book aims to fill that gap. It reads the Morte through its castles - their architecture, structural and symbolic significance, and geographical locations, together with their political, communal, ritual, domestic, and martial functions. The book also traces the mutual development of space and identity in the text, looking at Malory's Arthurian community in and around castle space, both as individuals and as a group; for example, it considers Arthur's political success through his use of space, and shows how crucial Camelot and its hall are to the fellowship of knights. Overall, the volume suggests a better understanding of the community's central organising body, the Round Table, and offers important re-readings of a number of episodes and characters. MOLLY A. MARTIN is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Indianapolis.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: Into the CastleCastles as Political CentersCastles and Community IdentityCastles and RitualCastles and the Domestic SphereCastles as PrisonsCastles at WarAfterword: Beyond the Castle GateBibliographyIndex