MONTY PYTHON and THE HOLY GRAIL

 

This movie is a “critique” of Feudalism from a “liberal” and “modern” point of view.

 

SCENE                      CHARACTERIZATION of                         WHAT/HOW IT’S

FEUDALISM                                PARODIED/SATIRIZED

Coconuts”         King on a Quest to build a “great” Kingdom     I don’t care about that –

My trusty servant Patsy                Where did you get the coconuts?

Obligations owed by “inferiors” to superiors       King’s “greatness” ignored

questioned by “modern” science/inquiry

“Plague                    threat of disease; demographic disaster       nature’s cruelty (germs)

   Village”               lack of scientific knowledge, medicine     furthered by human cruelty

 

“Constitutional  feudal social hierarchy(superiors/inferiors) questions “authoritarianism”

Peasants”    Authoritarianism – do as you are told     my “rights” are being “oppressed”

“divine right” monarchy (power from God)       “modern” self-government

“rex lex” – the king is law (top-down)     by “social contract” (law is king)

agricultural based economy                          majority of “dirt farmers”

“exploitation” of “peasant” farmers   “Marxist”critique/appeal to “workers”

 

“The Black          social order enforced by force, violence            “mindless” violence ?

Knight”         feudal allegiance and obligations to superiors

 

Singing Monks”   limited education & knowledge of “Dark Ages”     “holy” masochism

educated monks had to hand write books     (pleasure from own pain)

Witch Village”            medieval “superstition”;                  questionable use of “reason”,

“scapegoating” for society’s problems                logic and “science”

Gender inequality & lack of “opportunity”

Knights of the      the legend of a great king-court-castle        Camelot is a “silly” place

Round Table”    a “noble”, heroic and “man-ly” quest            Is this “natural” behavior

by adult men in power?

French Taunters”/    historic rivalry between French-English    rude, obnoxious French

The Trojan Rabbit”   English adopt ancient weapon-trick       who’s mouths (taunting)

are biggest weapon

Tale of Sir Lancelot/     brave knight on a “holy crusade”              brave but dangerous?

The Rescue of     “arranged” marriage for political-economic gain       a questionable

Prince Herbert”/      royal “inbreds”?/marriage of royal “blood”          heir to the throne ?

Wedding Guests”   victims of a daring and heroic “rescue”        “chivalry” gone “crazy”

 

The Cave of                a “monster” of “epic” proportions              never underestimate

     Caerbannog”/                                                                                     your enemy

Holy Hand Grenade”       violent religious “crusade”                       “I warned you!”

State and Church joined in common cause

Prepare to Attack”   dramatic “climax” to “epic” tale                      “ANTI-climax”

How England became “great”    feudal “heroism/legend” mocked

King Arthur’s downfall-demise       condemned as modern “crimes”