Dinadan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"How King Marke and Sir Dinadan heard Sir Palomides making great sarrow and mourning for La Beale Isoud" by Aubrey Beardsley

Sir Dinadan[pronunciation?] is a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He is the son of Sir Brunor Senior, the 'Good Knight without Fear,' and brother of Sirs Breunor le Noir and Daniel. A close friend of Tristan, Dinadan is known for his good humor and joking nature. Unlike most other knights in Arthurian romance, Dinadan prefers to avoid fights and considers courtly love a waste of time, though he is a brave fighter when he needs to be. In one notable exploit, he writes a slanderous ballad about King Mark and sends a troubador to play it at Mark's court. In another, he loses a joust when Lancelot catches him off guard by wearing a dress over his armor; Lancelot then puts the dress on his unconscious opponent.

He is more sociable than most of the knights, and is often a useful companion because of it. In Le Morte d'Arthur, he is one of the few knights to be able to recognize his fellows from their faces in addition to their shields; in one instance Tristan does not recognize his own King until Dinadan tells him who it is.

Like Palamedes and Lamorak, Dinadan was an invention of the Prose Tristan, and appeared in later retellings including the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.

Dinadan is nearly always portrayed as the wittiest of all of Arthur's Knights. In Le Morte d'Arthur (Book 10, chapter 56), he is visiting the court of Cornwall seeking his friend Sir Tristan, and has supper with Queen La Beale Isoud. Here he reveals that he has (by his own desire) no lady-love or paramour in whose name to do great deeds. La Beale Isoud chides him for this, saying that it is a shame for him not to have such a lady. But Dinadan replies; "God defend Me. For the joy of love is too brief; and the sorrow thereof, and what cometh thereof, dureth overlong". In both the stage version and film adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe Musical "Camelot", Dinadan has what is arguably the funniest line in the show. Everyone takes an immediate dislike to Lancelot when he first arrives at Camelot, except Arthur. After Lancelot's initial introduction to the Court, when Lady Sybil says of him; "He's so poisonously good", Dinadan quips sarcastically; "He probably WALKED across the channel".