Black Knight - Literary Use

Literary Use

  • Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory: "There sat a knight all armed in black harness, and his name was the Knight of the Black Laund. Then the damosel, when she saw that knight, she bade him flee down that valley, for his horse was not saddled. Gramercy, said Beaumains, for always ye would have me a coward. With that the Black Knight, when she came nigh him, spake and said, Damosel, have ye brought this knight of King Arthur to be your champion? Nay, fair knight, said she, this is but a kitchen knave that was fed in King Arthur's kitchen for alms. Why cometh he, said the knight, in such array? it is shame that he beareth you company. "
  • Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Sir Walter Scott has Richard the Lionhearted posing as a black knight to avoid detection while in England in his novel Ivanhoe.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings created the nine Nazgûl, described as Black Riders or Dark Riders. They are supposed to be noble men who fell to the evil power of the One Ring becoming wraiths bound to the Dark Lord Sauron. In The Silmarillion, the Elf Lord Eol is described as having a special affinity for a black meteoric metal known as Galvorn. As such he makes his armor and weapons entirely out of this black material.
  • Raymond Chandler in his first novel, The Big Sleep (1939), lets his private eye Philip Marlowe describe and comment on "a knight in dark armour rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn't have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair."
  • The Book of the Duchess by Geoffrey Chaucer

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