Why did not Lancelot make love to Guenever, or run away with his hero’s wife altogether, as any enlightened man would do today? One reason for his dilemma was that he was a Christian. The modern world is apt to forget that several people were Christians in the remote past . . . His Church, in which he had been brought up—and it is difficult to escape from your upbringing—directly forbade him to seduce is best friend’s wife. Another stumbling block to doing as he pleased was the very idea of chivalry or of civilization which Arthur had first invented and then introduced into his own young mind. Perhaps a bad baron who believed in the Strong Arm might have gone off with Guenever, even in the face of his Church’s councils, because taking your neighbor’s wife was really a form of Fort Mayne. It was a matter of the stronger bull winning. But Lancelot had spent his childhood between knightly exercises and thinking out King Arthur’s theory for himself. He believed as firmly as Arthur did, as firmly as the benighted Christian, that there was such a thing as Right.
—T. H. White, The Once and Future King