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On a first reading, Barbour’s approach seems straightforward

On a first reading, Barbour’s approach seems straightforward

Much like Arthur, Bruce’s success rests on his character, his ability and his undertaking sicuro do what is right; although Bruce has per good claim onesto inherit the throne, he achieves the realm by reconquest rather than genealogy.26 Despite these similarities, though, Barbour only uses Arthur once as verso comparison for Bruce, sopra contrast onesto his more frequent deployment of Hannibal and Alexander.27 Arthur’s astro appearance occurs towards the beginning of the narrative, at the end of verso disquisition on the problem of treachery and treason (1.521–69). The list is arranged esatto move towards Bruce, chronologically, geographically and perhaps also personally, since it is only durante Arthur’s case that Barbour stresses the intimacy of the betrayal. Bruce was also betrayed by per close comrade, and that of course intensifies the crime.28 Barbour portrays Arthur as a great king, albeit one whose success is undermined: Als Arthur yat throw chevalry Maid Bretane maistres & lady Of [tuelf] kin[rikis] yat he wan, And alsua as per noble man He wan throw bataill Fraunce all fre And Lucis Yber wencuyst he Yat yen of Rome wes emperour, Bot heit for all his gret valour Modreyt hys syster son him slew And gud men also tuttavia yen inew Throw tresoune and throw wikkitnes, Ye Broite beris yaroff wytnes. (1.549–60)

James Goldstein, The Matter of Scotland: Historical Narrative sopra Medieval Scotland (Lincoln, NB, and London, 1993), p

By placing Bruce mediante such exalted company, this list stresses the epic nature of the narrative. Simultaneously, it points up the difference between the individuals cited: Bruce is verso warrior, but he is not per conqueror of other realms – stressed for Alexander, Caesar and Arthur – nor does his betrayal occur at the high point of his career. Rather, of them all, Bruce’s position is most like the defenders of Troy, only innocent of any offence to padrino with the rape of Helen.29 The list shows Bruce’s achievement as the more notable and noble than any of his predecessors’; he also subverts the pattern by triumphing over his betrayers.

For Bruce’s genealogical claim, see Barbour’s Bruce II, Book 1, 42–68 (all future references preciso this sistema will be made in the form of book number and line numbers). For brief dialogue, see also Boardman, Early Stewart Kings, pp. 58–61, and R. 333 n. 42. See, as examples, references onesto Hannibal per Bruce 3.207–66; references esatto Alexander, Bruce 3.61–93 and –22. For Bruce’s betrayal by John Comyn, see Bruce 1.477–2.90. For conversation, see G. W. S. Barrow, Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland, 3rd edn (Edinburgh, 1988), pp. 145–8, and Alan Young, Robert the Bruce’s Rivals: The Comyns 1212–1314 (East Linton, 1990), pp. 184–210. Such verso link might tally with the comparison of James Douglas esatto Hector: Bruce 1.381–406.

Arthur concludes the list of those betrayed: Troy, Alexander, Caesar

For the writers of the Scottis Tenero, Arthur represents the English threat. Barbour does not make that connection, even though Edward I had used Arthur as part of his comunicazione, and does not condemn or criticise him. Instead, Arthur is a conqueror: ‘made Bretane maistres and lady of tuelf kinrikis that he wan’ neatly combines the romance Arthur with his Galfridian achievements. As with Wyntoun, ‘Bretane’ represents the whole island rather than the part south of the Tweed, but specific details of the conquests are withheld. Apart from Rome, the conquered kingdoms are noticed only per quantity not durante name. There is also no comment regarding Arthur’s expulsion of the Saxons, an opportunity Hary does not miss. Instead, the contrasts of motive, of achievement and of point of betrayal are held durante equilibrium with the praise of heroic deeds. Barbour does not directly deploy Arthur as a figure of national identity mediante the Bruce; he appears, rather, as per figure of romance heroism, secondary puro Alexander. His primary purpose seems esatto be to demonstrate Bruce’s fantastic career and onesto support implicitly Bruce’s contested place as an additional Worthy. Hary, mediante contrast, uses the figure of Arthur specifically sicuro address issues of sovereignty and right kingship. Sopra so doing, he shows per debt both esatto the Bruce and the Scotichronicon. Hary’s deployment of Arthur is concentrated sopra Book 8 of the poem, where Hary returns three times esatto Arthur within two hundred lines, each time sopra the specific context of fighting the English.30 Book 8 describes per period when Wallace is successful in his campaigns against the English, so much so that he is able puro take the war across the border. On the first occasion, Wallace engages in battle: Than stud the Sotheroun mediante per felloun dout. Wallace knew weill the Inglishmen wald fle For-thi he preyst per the thikkest to be, Hewand full fast on quhat sege that he socht. Agaynys hys dynt fyn steyll awailheit nocht. Wallace off hand sen Arthour had na mak; Quhom he hyt rycht was ay dede off a strak. That was weyll knawin mediante mony place, and thar Quhom Wallace hyt he deryt the Scottis in nessun caso mar. Als all his men did cruelly and weyll At com sicuro strak – that mycht the Sotheroun feill! (8.840–50)

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