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Jobs in King Arthur's Court

Author: LiXiang
Tutor: WuZhiFang
School: Wuhan University of Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Job the Grail Quest tests faith Mythological and ArchetypalApproaches
CLC: I106
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 4
Quote: 0
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Abstract


The legends of King Arthur and his Round Table Knights have always dominated a vital role in all kinds of literary and artistic works for more than a millennium. The secular romances still enjoy universal praise while the religious Grail Quest still has universal popularity. The Holy Grail mirrors virtue and vice, and the Quest, in essence, is God’s spiritual test for firmness of faith. Thus the Round Table Knights become the Jobs in King Arthur’s court. Only those in pursuit of truth can pass God’s tests and witness the Grail, while those impure in heart will fail the tests and be penalized. Thus the significance of the Grail Quest is to encourage people to be steadfast in their faith and to eliminate their sins and pursue good.The Biblical archetype Job from mythological and archetypal approaches will be employed to probe into those in quest of the Holy Grail. Two condemned and two blessed will be analyzed specifically to reveal that people should follow love and reject sins.The thesis comprises six chapters.The first chapter is the significance and layout of the thesis and a brief introduction to the origins of the Holy Grail.Chapter Two deals with the domestic and foreign research concerning the Arthurian literature and introduces Mythological and Archetypal Approaches.Chapter Three mainly discusses the main archetype behind the Grail Quest, i.e. Job from the Old Testament, a subject to God’s tests for firmness of faith. The origin and variations of the Job archetype are mentioned.Chapter Four is the employment of the Job archetype in the analyses of the Grail Quest. Miracles are created by God to summon the Round Table Knights to embark on the journey. In the process, the majority fail the tests, becoming trodden Jobs. Gawain suspends from the Grail Quest for his preference for murder and his rejection to repent. Lancelot is denied the true image of the Holy Grail because of his lack in faith. Only a minority pass the tests, becoming triumphant Jobs. Perceval resists Satan’s temptation due to his determination in faith, while Bors avoids fratricide owing to his pursuit of God. The faithful enjoy crowning glory. Thus the Quest for the Holy Grail ends with the death of or humiliation on most Round Table Knights.Chapter Five first presents the divine punishment on the elite knights for their refusal of truth—the destruction of a great dynasty. The thesis also probes into the rich legacy left by the Grail Quest, namely, the source of inspiration for writers and artists alike and the spread of universal core values of truth, good and beauty with Celtic characteristics.The last chapter is the conclusion. Everyone has a Holy Grail within, i.e. the endless pursuit for truth, good and beauty and should commence their own quest for the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, the merits and demerits of the thesis are also included.

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