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Last Updated on July 15, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 437

The Importance of Faith in God and the Sacrifice of Personal Glory

An overriding theme in The Quest of the Holy Grail is the importance of unremitting and true faith in God. Though the story follows the exploits of many of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table, ultimately it is only the most holy among them—particularly saintly Galahad—who are able to lay eyes on the object of their extreme speculation: the Holy Grail, or the cup that Jesus drank from during the last supper.

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In P. M. Matarasso's translation of the Celtic epic, the narrative focuses specifically on both Perceval and Galahad's success in reaching the Grail, and this is a direct result of their faithful devotion to their cause and firm belief in God. Toward the end of the novel, these two knights meet with Josephus in Gaul, who receives them with tremendous gratitude and hospitality.

They then travel together to the sea, coming across a ship with an inscription in its hull that forbids anyone from entering who does not firmly believe in Jesus Christ. Galahad and Perceval catch sight of the Grail lying upon a bed in the ship, enter, and then steer the ship to a distant shore.

It is heavily indicated throughout the story that Galahad in particular is only successful in finding the Grail because he demonstrates unwavering faith and love for God. For example, during his voyage across the sea, the ship he and Perceval have boarded is rocked very harshly in the waves, and the knights do not know where exactly the ship is being guided.

The story relates, however, that every morning and night, Galahad...

(The entire section contains 437 words.)

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