In five pages this essay summarizes 3 tales from the James Wilhelm edited Arthurian anthology, The Romance of Arthur. There are no other sources listed.
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Arthur, edited by James Wilhelm, is an anthology of medieval works that are part of the canon of Arthurian romance. The following discussion will examine three of those works, considering
their strengths and weaknesses. Thomas of Britains Tristan ("The Death Scene") Thomas of Britain is important to Arthurian legend because the ending that he provided to the Tristan and
Isolde love story, which he wold have titled Tristan) has survived, while the ending of other versions has not (Wilhelm 283). This is one of this works principal strengths. On
the other hand, Thomass Tristan, which is fragmentary, lacks a beginning, a definite weakness. What modern scholars have is a handful of sections that roughly make up about one-sixth of
the total length of the original work (Wilhelm 283). From what remains, it appears that Thomas knew the Celtic legends concerning Arthur quite well and was sympathetic to
the English, although the fragments also show that he had mastered the art of writing in the sophisticated style of French romances (Wilhelm 283). In fact, Thomas is considered to
be the initiator of the "courtly," as opposed to the "heroic," school of romances (Wilhelm 283). This is evident in the way that Thomas focuses on the psychology of love
and simultaneously down plays the role of the warrior in medieval narrative (Wilhelm 283). This is evident from the beginning of the section included by Wilhelm in this text.
The lines read: "When Isolde had heard this message, / She felt anguish in her heart, / And pain and sympathy and sorrow -- / Never had she felt any
greater" (p. 285). As these lines suggest, the focus of this fragment is not on the role of the warrior, but rather on the emotions of the lovers. This orientation