Clarification/Follow-up by Anonymous on 01/18/03 4:36 am:
If Galahad overthrew Lancelot in a duel, how can anyone say that he is not the greatest knight ever? I am just curious now...
Clarification/Follow-up by Anonymous on 01/18/03 4:40 am:
I actually know about Percival, but if Percival could never hope to beat Lancelot in a duel, how could he possibly be in the same class as Galahad?
Also, it is not like Galahad were not pure or excelled at gentlemanly conduct... I read he rescued many maidens in distress and was of impeccable character.... so how could anyone really surpass him? How can anyone prove that even Percival was more pure then him? And remember, Percival had a lot less time to be corrupted since he waw literally in a cave more than half his life...
Look forward to your response..
Clarification/Follow-up by SanchoPanza on 07/20/04 1:03 pm:
Lancelot was the most able knight and could only be bested by Arthur's magical protection yet the chivalric code supposed that a true knight would always triumph over a false knight. Lancelot's desire for the queen is his Achilles heel, in the various versions of the story it ranges from unspoken to outright adultery but within his conscience he knows it is his ultimate weakness.
Galahad is set apart from the other knights by his chastity and by the signs that he is predestined to attain the grail. He is the only knight that can sit at the empty place reserved at the round table for the one who attains the grail, without fatal consequences. It is he, in some versions of the story that pulls the sword from the stone, signifying again that he is the chosen one. There is something Christlike about Galahad and his inclusion in the stories could be an attempt to weld Christian and Chivalric principals together.
His name comes from Genesis 31:43-48
43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?
44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.
45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
So Galahad is essentially a witness.. but to what?
Galahad is actually the son of Lancelot and the evidence of his love for Guinevere.
His mother was Elaine Corbinec the daughter of the grail keeper Peles who conspired to make her magically appear in the form of Guinevere, who he has told Lancelot is passing nearby.
Having lost any chance at the grail through his falsehood, it can only be attained through his son and ironically through the direct consequences of his own sinful actions.
The Arthurian legends served many purposes, not the least of which was for the Normans to remind the Saxons that they were also invaders of England not so long ago.
The notion that there was an ancient and noble fraternity before the dark age of the Saxons was a powerful piece of propaganda and the stories were adapted many times to suit the new order.