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The Codification of Heraldry in Malory's Le Morte Darthur

By Sarah Jane Brazil


This article explores literary uses of heraldry, particularly in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, in order to demonstrate that the normative functions of heraldry are often suspended or moulded to suit the literary circumstances at hand. Heraldry is crucial to the landscape of medieval Arthurian literature, but its use often bears little resemblance to historically verifiable practices. Rules can be insisted on as common procedure when this is definitely not the case, basic conventions can be breached, while heraldic devices can become disproportionally significant features of a character and plot. Throughout this article I will present instances of such heraldic appropriation, with a particular focus on the occasions when heraldic devices are made significant to the point of catastrophe

Topics: info:eu-repo/classification/ddc/420/820, Le Morte Darthur, Arthurian literature, Heraldry, Codification, Semiotics
Year: 2014
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Provided by: Archive ouverte UNIGE
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