“Alright, we’ll call it a draw”
My favourite scene from one of the most revered of comedies, King Arthur’s ridiculous battle with the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail has gone down in film history, never being bettered in terms of ingenious parody. Even though I had always enjoyed and respected the film, my admiration increased even further after studying Malory’s Morte D’Arhur during university. After all, the entire film is in some ways an allegoric parody of the surreal nature of chivalric literature. which is perfectly represented in Arthur’s battle with the Black Knight for safe passage over the bridge. The nub of the joke is that the bridge, despite its importance, is just a tiny area crossing over a trickle of water.
After scouring the land for brave knights to join him on his quest for the Grail, Arthur witnesses the skill and courage of the Black Knight, and asks him to join him on his quest. Met with stoic defiance, he battles with the knight after being told that “none shall pass” over the knight’s bridge. Even after losing several limbs, the “brave” knight never gives up, which hilariously shows the lengths that knights would go to in order to prove their bravery in Malory’s work. A classic scene from a comedy that even a modern audience would undoubtedly still find hilarious.