Sir Lancelot In Jerry Zucker's First Knight

1420 Words6 Pages
Jerry Zucker's First Knight is an Arthurian adaptation that incorporates the meritocratic aspects of modern chivalry through its portrayal of Sir Lancelot. Sir Lancelot is a character who is a nomad before being taken in by King Arthur after he displays a great amount of courage through overcoming a treacherous gauntlet-styled obstacle course and by going out of his way to save Guinevere after she was kidnapped by Sir Malagant. He does not fight nor think like a traditional knight, preferring to use his speed, intelligence, and courage to win his battles as opposed to his strength like a traditional knight would. He exemplifies many aspects of chivalry, but breaks the traditions of it because of his background and his eccentricities and that…show more content…
First Knight display some of the classical aspects of chivalry, with the most prominent aspect being loyalty as is demonstrated in the repeated use of the pledge that the Knights of the Round Table say to each other during initiation ceremonies and during crucial moments of the film, "Brother to brother. Yours in life and death." Lancelot is shown as a flawed man, but an incredibly masculine and chivalrous one and those qualities allow him to be redeemed of his affair with Guinevere and he gains the recognition from Arthur as the quintessential knight moments before Arthur's death, "My truest. My first knight." This is an accurate depiction of the Arthurian lore in the sense that Lancelot's chivalrous nature was enough to earn the forgiveness of Arthur because of Arthur's extremely chivalrous nature, but the rest of the characterizations of Lancelot are more reflective of modern chivalry. In a more accurate depiction of Arthurian lore, Lancelot's individualist qualities and nomadic background would have been down played and his purely chivalric nature would have played up. There is one film, however, that does look to portray chivalry is a more historical light than First Knight and King…show more content…
The film keeps the fantastical elements of the King Arthur mythos and, above all else, puts the emphasis on the classical elements of chivalry while still including some of the more contemporary elements as well. The film does make Perceval a character who is able to display chivalrous qualities by becoming a knight through display of courage and loyalty to Sir Lancelot when he is late for a duel to defend Queen Guinevere's honor. Perceval's dubbing as a knight is highly unlikely because he had no noble blood and he did not demonstrate courage in battle, but it did demonstrate his loyalty and courage to Lancelot to the King, Queen, and Lancelot which are defining traits of classical chivalry. The rest of the film, however, does a good job of presenting a more realistic depiction of how chivalry as an ideal and how it was challenged in the Middle Ages. Each knight is loyal, courageous, battle tested by participating in the formation and eventual downfall of Camelot, aristocratic with the exception of Perceval, and dedicated to the quests they were given to the point of sacrificing their lives during the quest for the Holy Grail and the final battle against Mordred. These characters are never overly generous to the point that they would be damaging their high class positions with the exception of King Arthur and they are continuously masculine

More about Sir Lancelot In Jerry Zucker's First Knight

Open Document