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Sir Agravaine
Arthurian Literary Character

Sometimes called "the Arrogant" or "the Proud," Sir Agravaine was the second son of King Lot of Orkney and/or Lothian & Queen Morgause, his wife. In his youth, he came to the Court of King Arthur with his brothers and fought in the Saxon Wars, where he liberated the prisoners on the Hill of Wretches. He was rewarded with a knighthood and welcomed into the Order of the Round Table. He managed to put himself about a bit in search of adventure. However, although a very handsome man and a competent knight with sword and axe, he was said to be a most disagreeable character: being described as envious, unsympathetic, hateful and disposed to evil. This view seems to have been largely due to his central role in the movement to expose the torrid affair between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. Thus, in the Vulgate Cycle of Arthurian tales, it is Agravaine, rather than Mordred, who emerged as the chief conspirator and he was only finally killed when Lancelot rescued the Queen from the stake. However, Agravaine may be misrepresented. When Gawain was accused of treachery by Guigambresil, it was his brother Agravaine who persuaded him not to respond too hastily and even offered to fight on his brother's behalf. Throughout, his actions seem to have been motivated by family loyalty. His desire to harm Sir Lancelot and his participation in the murder of Sir Lamorak is quite understandable when one considers that their family was responsible for the death of Agravaine's father. He must have had a more pleasing side to his character, for he won over the Lady Florée (or Laurel) - a niece of the King of Scotland - at a Camelot Tournament and married her. Sir Agravaine was killed by Sir Lancelot some time during the latter's conflict with cuckolded Arthur.


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