A Monty Python Version Of Camelot Essay

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A Monty Python Version Of Camelot Essay, Research Paper David Sondergaard General Writing: Film Prof. Anustup Basu A Monty Python Version of Camelot As a film that has become so popular that it has grown to be considered a cult favorite, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam and Jones, USA, 1991) is an entertaining retelling of the story of King Arthur and his knights and their search for the Holy Grail. Although it is stylized in medieval times, it is far from your traditional castles and chivalry sort of story. It has undergone the Monty Python transformation into a silly and satirical yarn that includes coconuts, African swallows and holy hand grenades. An English band known for their own particular type of humor, they leave their undeniable mark on this classic story.

They are masters of twisting any situation toward the absurd. In this film we are constantly confronted with the story of King Arthur that we believe to be real and the absurd version that they are presenting us with. If the account that we all know is to be considered to be the real story, and therefore true logically speaking, then Python?s portrayal would amount to a direct attack on this and on realism itself. They have created a self-conscious film that lets you know that it knows it is just that ? a film. Because of this they are able to grant themselves a much more powerful creative license in producing the film. It is constantly breaking its own illusion of reality, helping to add to the mounting ridiculousness. In comparing the realities and absurdities in the film we

can see how each underscores the other and hence gain a greater understanding of the benefits they give, both theatrically and comically. The film begins with King Arthur and his squire ?riding? through the countryside looking to assemble the greatest knights in the land to form his round table. The term riding itself is the first example of the oncoming nonsense as he is merely skipping along as his squire bangs two coconuts together to mimic the noise created from a galloping horse. Upon arriving at a castle the guard points this fact out to him also inquiring from where he has obtained coconuts in England since they are a tropical product. This sparks the first of many Pythonesque dialogues as they argue whether a swallow could have carried the coconut all the way to England.

They finally decide that an African swallow is large enough to perform such a flight, but that it is not a migratory bird. As Arthur leaves the scene the guards continue to belabor the point. It is immediately following this that he meets the Black Night. He stumbles upon him fighting another knight whom he vanquishes in gory fashion. Arthur asks the night to join his roundtable but the Black Knight does not answer him. It is only as he tries to pass that he speaks to tell him, ?none shall pass?. The two then begin a deadly battle that ultimately leaves the Black Knight without an arm. He refuses to admit defeat though and King Arthur then proceeds to take his other arm followed his left leg and then his right. Arthur leaves the ludicrous looking knight as he threatens to gnaw

Arthur?s ankles off. After a series of such absurd situations Arthur is finally able to assemble a group of knights to make up his round table. It is upon such time that God visits them. After a few snide remarks from God telling them to stop all the quivering and kissing up that he tells them their quest: the search for the Holy Grail. King Arthur and the knights decide that it would be better for them to split up and search for the grail on their own. At this point the story splits into the different quests of the individual knights and their adventures while searching for the grail. The first is the Brave Sir Robin who travels with his minstrels that sing his praise as they ?ride?. During his quest he stumbles across a giant three-headed knight. The knight begins to argue with