Narrative and thematic structure in the Arthurian cycle of Charles Williams

Jones, Helen Langdon (1971) Narrative and thematic structure in the Arthurian cycle of Charles Williams. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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By considering the narrative and thematic structure of Taliessin through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars this thesis attempts to supplement the existing body of criticism of Charles Williams' work, criticism which has primarily treated the Arthurian cycle as part of a larger framework either of biography or of socio-literary developments typical of the twentieth century. After an introductory discussion of Williams' general literary and philosophical position in the field of twentieth-century letters, the study considers Williams' narrative treatment of the Arthurian material in the light of his criticisms of other literary versions of the Arthurian legend, his prose observations on the significant developments in the history of the Matter of Britain, and his own declared intention to make the Grail the centre of his myth. -- Considerable discussion is devoted to Williams' creation of a cosmic setting for his recasting of the Arthurian legend, and to the themes embodied therein, particularly those which affect the symbolic significance of his organic geography as seen in his picture of the Byzantine Empire. The immediate, internal setting of Logres, and the remaining constituent elements which complete the cosmos of Williams' Arthuriad are also considered in relation to the total design of the cycle. -- The study then turns to the thematic core of the work, Williams' views on and treatment of love, both temporal and divine, individual and corporal, as manifested in his concept of the City, and in his creation of a variety of personal loves. Finally, the study considers the implications for the entire cycle of the narrative and thematic conclusions which Williams reaches and offers a tentative interpretation of the poet's view of the Achievement of the Grail as it affects his Arthuriad.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 7075
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [304]-317.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Williams, Charles, 1886-1945--Criticism and interpretation

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