If you’re a bloke, you’ve got five choices: king, knight, wizard, giant or dwarf. If you’re a woman, you’ve got two: queen or damsel. There aren’t any normal people in this immense narrative and there are pretty much no normal places in it either. Most of it takes place somewhere called “Britain” which is nothing like the Britain you or I know. This is an Iberian Britain, as if the Spanish Armada had not only been succesful but managed to travel through time to invade 500 years earlier and, on landing, immediately decided places like Essex would sould more elaborate as, say, Estraverion. Actually, they may have a point.
But, I digress. Amadis is a Knight of knights, a boy, then a youth, then a man who can do no wrong, who wins every battle (for there are many) and rights every wrong (for there are even more of these than battles). In fact, he’s really boring and predictable most of the time. Occasionally, he decides he’d be better off under a pseudonym like Knight of the Green Sword or Beltenebros. But his contemporaries must
have been pretty dim not to realise Mr. Perfect when they met him, no matter what he might call himself.
There’s more jousting here than you can shake a stick at (geddit???) so if that’s your thing then you’ll be delirious with ecstasy. Limbs, skulls, bones, vital organs – nothing is sacred as the swords of Amadis and his cohorts wend their righteously murderous way through various nations on escapades that are more morally justified than fighting National Socialism in Krakow in March, 1943.
And the women are so very fair and so unassailably pure and so very very incapable of anything other than relying on men for their existence while the men are either paragons of Amadis-like virtue or outright scoundrels who deserve (and often suffer) having their limbs separated from their bodies one by one.
But in my cynicism, let me not forget the awesome legacy that this work of literary art has bestowed upon the world. Yes, it inspired Cervantes to write the classic Don Quixote, but much, much more significantly for humanity, Monty Python and the Holy Grail might never have been made without it.
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style
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