Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"The Land Without a King!"

The Holy Grail - Excalibur [1981]
John Boorman's re-telling of Malory's Morte d'Arthur [1485] in his film, Excalibur, is a masterful depiction of the pagan heroic myth, and one that I visit at least annually.

At one climactic turning point, Guenevere sees the King's sword stuck in the ground near where she and Lancelot had lain asleep in one anothers' adulterous embrace. She cries, "The king without a sword! The land without a king!" And the kingdom of Camelot plunges into chaos, degeneracy, and despair.

Her first sentence is of little consequence, in my opinion. But her second -- "The land without a king!" -- rings with a horribly rightness in our dark and forlorn times. How shall the land thrive once more if its people have forsaken their King, their Master, their Eucharistic Lord?

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