Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Squire's Tale (Part 1)

The discussion prompt asked for our favorite character in Gerald Morris's The Squire's Tale. Here is my response.

As much as Morgaine, or Morgan le Fay, is usually my favorite character when it comes to Arthurian Legend, in THE SQUIRE'S TALE, my favorite is
Terence. It is Terence's extreme loyalty to the character with whom he finds himself bound, that draws my attention to him. An admirable
quality in any friend.

Terence shows his loyalty through his actions. When Gawain asks the boy to be his squire, "Terence [looks] hesitantly at the hermit" (Morris,
1998, p. 11), reluctant to leave Trevisant, the man who raised him, alone to fend for himself without a memory. And it isn't without tears
that Terence leaves Trevisant behind.

Terence's loyalty to Gawain is shown in deeds throughout the novel, the first of which is professing the story of Sir Hartubris's defeat to
Arthur, though Gawain had no intention of doing so. As soon as Terence spoke, "he immediately knew he had made a terrible social error...and
Terence realized that none of the other squires in the room had spoken a word" (Morris, 1998, p. 32). But his motive for speaking was noble: to
help Gawain become a knight of the Round Table.

Terence's confidence in his ability to be open with Sir Gawain is further example of Terence's loyalty. To be bold enough to say to
Gawain, "No, milord...I think we should go that way," (Morris, 1998, p.154), shows not only the nature of the relationship between knight and
squire, but also that Terence would not let Gawain head off in the wrong direction.

Finally, Terence shows his loyalty to Gawain once Terence has completed his own quest--that of finding the identity of his parents. Robin,
Terence's guide, offers Terence a place in the Other World on behalf of Terence's father, Ganscotter. When Robin indicates that Terence must go
alone, leaving Gawain behind, Terence chooses to stay with Gawain and return to Camelot.

It is not easy to find loyal friends--so many people have their own agendas that cause manipulation, or a relationship that is less than
symbiotic. With Terence, his own agenda isn't secondary, but his loyalty to his friends takes precedence.
Morris, G. (1998). The Squire's Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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