Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur

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In Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, a majority of the characters are white Christians. Saracens are defined as members of Arab tribes, but in the Arthurian legend, anyone who is different is a Saracen (Saracen, Encyclopedia Britanica). They could be different because of their skin color, religion, or country of origin. Anyone who did not fully identify with the English majority would qualify someone as a Saracen. Palomides is Malory’s most prominent Saracen, whose alterity affects his relationships with those in the majority. Palomides is a Saracen is because he is not dedicated to one religion. Palomides “is neither a practicing Muslim, for he claims he is a believer in Jesus, nor a practicing Christian, for he has not been accepted into the Church through baptism” (Goodrich 19). His goal to be baptized into the Christian church serves to amalgamate him with his fellow knights. By becoming a member of the Church, Palomides can join the Round Table and take the Knightly Oath (Malory 77). The Round Table provides Palomides with a sense of community and brotherhood that he has not…show more content…
Palomides’ is initially shameless and devious toward Isdoe, qualities a typical Saracen or Knight of the Round Table does not have (Hoffman 49). Later, Isode watches Palomides battle Tristram with Lancelot’s unsuspecting help (Malory 459). From this episode, Isode’s “gaze ennobles Palomides while he is honorable” and “utterly destroys him when he is disgraced” (Hoffman 52). Palomides is dishonorable as he tries to figure out the rules of being chivalrous, and in doing so, embarrasses himself. His drive to be accepted, by fellow knights or Isode, conflicts with his sense of unavoidable failure that is inevitable because he is not part of religious society (Hoffman 53). Palomides’ unreciprocated love for Isode is illustrated in William Fulford’s “The Lament of Palomides” poem: And this, false Iseult, I endure for

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