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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 23

Summary and Notes

Elaine arranges a tournament at the Joyous Isle, and the Chevalier Mal Fet (Lancelot) beats all competitors handily. Lancelotís shield has a crowned woman on it with a knight kneeling at her knees. Elaine finds Lancelot after the tourney on the field gazing towards Camelot, and she cries privately.

One later afternoon Lancelot is challenged by two knights to joust. Lancelot beats them easily, and the one knight, named Degalis, asks for his identity. Lancelot confesses that he is Lancelot. The other knight is Ector, not the Sir Ector who raised Wart, but a brother of Lancelotís. The knights are ecstatic at having found him, not only because of their admiration and kinship for Lancelot, but because the Queen has offered a substantial monetary reward for anyone who finds him.


Elaine watches the scene of the brothers joyfully reuniting from a hill, and understands intrinsically that her time with Lancelot has come to an end.

In this chapter, the tone is decidedly melancholy and the reader feels sympathetic for two opposing forces: Lancelot and his homesickness and yearning for Guenever is in sharp relief against Elaine and the futility of her love.

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