Lancelot's madness... the Folie Lancelot
Although there are times in the Vulgate
(and even in Chretien's Charrette) where Lancelot's stability is in doubt,
there is also a text, part of the Post-Vulgate, that is specifically known as "La Folie
Lancelot." There are two manuscripts that preserve the "Folie Lancelot"
(Paris, BN, fr. 112 and 12599. They adapt material from the Agravain section of
the Vulgate Lancelot and some from the first version of the Prose Tristan. Fanni
Bogdanow edited the pertinent sections of these manuscripts
In the Post-Vulgate Merlin Continuation, Lancelot goes mad,
and for a good reason: for he is sleeping with the daughter of King Pelles
but believes that he is lying with Guenevere,
only to be caught when the real Guenevere enters and discovers them together.
He flees from the castle and loses his mind.
Lost in both mind and reality, others set out from Arthur's court to
seek him. Although it is customary to refer to the material as the "Folie Lancelot,"
it is by no means only about him. Included in the manuscript are adventures
of the young Galahad, the young Perceval, and Gauvain. At the end of these adventures,
Lancelot is still lost, but when the following Post-Vulgate Quest for the Holy Grail
begins, he is suddenly available to knight Galahad.