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Free Study Guide-The Once and Future King-T.H. White-Free Book Summary
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Chapter 44

Summary and Notes

The second trial by combat to defend Guenever ends the same way as the one against Sir Mador: Lancelot arrives to save Guenever in the nick of time. Another knight named Sir Levine was supposed to fight Meliagrance, but Lancelet had been liberated from the dungeon in exchange for a kiss from a serving wench.


Meliagrance asks Lancelot for mercy, but Guenever gives the knight a signal that she does not want him saved. The audience at the joust wants him killed, as well. The author notes that this is because their idea of love was much more romantic than ours - it was for a lifetime and not a thing to be trifled with. So when someone accused another of infidelity it was treacherous and should be punished accordingly, preferably by death.

Lancelot decides that he and Sir Meliagrance should fight to the death, but that he will take off all of the armor from the left side of his body and tie his left hand behind his back in order to make it a fair fight. Meliagrance pitifully accepts, and Lancelot promptly decapitates him.

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