The first time I read this I was a college student immersed in literature. I loved the language and imagery, truly felt transported to another time and place. With this second reading I see James Bond. Arthur roams the countryside, bedding/leaving damsels, fighting/killing whatever gets in his way, getting himself wrapped up in conspiracies and evil plots, all without losing his smirk. OK, maybe Malory doesn't mention the smirk, but you know it's there.