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King Arthur. The legendary king and the legendary mystery. R. Larrabee. Scholars debate…. Whether or not King Arthur really existed. Because there was no real written language, the stories of Arthur were passed down from generation to generation.
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King Arthur The legendary king and the legendary mystery R. Larrabee
Scholars debate….. Whether or not King Arthur really existed.
Because there was no real written language, the stories of Arthur were passed down from generation to generation. The legends are based on folklore and some historical fact, but over time, the stories grew larger and more complex.
Arthur was the son of King Uther Pendragon of Britain Igraine of Cornwall
Arthur was born on Christmas Eve. He was born in Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.
On the night of Arthur’s birth, he was secretly taken away by Merlin and hidden away until the time he could claim his birthright.
Arthur lived in obscurity for 14 years in the foster care of Sir Ector of Galava and his wife Griselda.
When Arthur is 14, Uther Pendragon dies unexpectedly without naming Arthur his heir. It is now up to Merlin to ensure Arthur claims his birthright as King of Britain.
On the sword was engraved: “Whoso pulleth this sword from this stone is rightwise born King of all Britain.”
Acting as Kay’s page, Arthur attends the tournament with Sir Ector, and his newly knighted cousin Kay.
At the tournament in London, Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and proves his birthright as King of Britain.
At the time of Arthur, Britain was splintered into various kingdoms each ruled by his own king or liege-lord.
Because each liege-lord was only responsible for his own territory, Britain became vulnerable to attack from outside invaders.
Britain was primarily a pagan country. Christianity was very new there, and many people still practiced the old pagan religions. One of Arthur’s destinies was to unify Britain under one Christian God.
For Example: The character of the Lady of the Lake She is depicted as a magical being who lives under the water of a lake and gives Arthur his sword.
In reality, the Lady of the Lake was a pagan priestess of the shrine of the Mother Goddess. Her shrine was across the lake on a sacred and secluded island.
AnotherExample: Merlinthe Magician Merlin is considered a powerful magician who possesses both the power of prophecy and powerful magic.
In all actuality, Merlin was most probably a wise man of one of the pagan religions. Prior to and during the time of Arthur, there were men like Merlin who were gifted healers, prophets, and wise counselors.
The Holy Grail Another Example:
Some experts say that the Holy Grail was the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. It has become an important Christian symbol.
Some scholars believe that the grail is not a Christian symbol at all, but a pagan object that was part of set of sacred pagan regalia that included a platter, a sword, and a lance.
Most recently, some scholars suspect that the Grail was not an object at all, but a person. Watch or read the DaVinci Code for a story about this theory.
Regardless of the various opinions of the scholars, in the Arthurian Legends, the Holy Grail is understood as the sacred chalice of Jesus.
Once the country is unified and peaceful, Arthur marries Guenevere and makes her his queen.
As a wedding gift, Guenevere’s father gives Arthur a round table. It could seat 100 knights.
Sir Lancelot du Lac Best and bravest of all the knights and King Arthur’s best friend. Lancelot falls in love with Guenevere, Arthur’s queen.
Sir Galahad The only knight to see the Holy Grail. After Galahad beholds the Grail, he dies and his soul is take up to heaven by three angels.
Sir Gawaine One of Arthur’s most loyal knights. He battles the Green Knight.
Sir Percival Is shown a vision of the Holy Regalia: the Grail, the Lance, the Platter. He fails to find the Regalia because of his lack of faith.
Sir Tristram Also known as Tristan Does great deeds but dies from love far from home. Beloved of Isolde.
Sir Bors Accompanies Galahad on the Grail Quest. He returns to tell the story of Galahad.
Sir Kay Kay was Arthur’s foster brother. Arthur appointed him the seneschal of all his lands.
Sir Bedivere Arthur’s cousin. Arthur charges him to return his sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake.
Knights had to display bravery, loyalty, and chivalry. These qualities were prized above all other qualities.
Chivalry • Live to serve King and Country. • Live to defend Crown and Country and all it holds dear. • Live one's life so that it is worthy of respect and honor. • Live for freedom, justice and all that is good. • Never attack an unarmed foe.
Chivalry continued • Obey the law of king, country, and chivalry. • Respect women. • Exhibit Courage in word and deed. • Defend the weak and innocent. • Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause. • Fight for the ideals of king, country, and chivalry. • Die with valor. • Always keep one's word of honor.
Guenevere Arthur’s wife. She later has an affair with Lancelot.
Merlin Arthur’s cousin, adviser, and powerful magician.
Morgana Le Fey Arthur’s sister who conspired against him and stole his sword Excalibur.
Morgause Arthur’s half sister. She is the mother of Gawaine, Gaheris, Gareth, Agravaine, and Mordred. She is also the Lady of the Lake from whom Arthur gets the sword. She is one of the three women who bring Arthur’s body to Avalon after he dies.
Mordred Arthur’s son and nephew. He conspires to catch Lancelot and Guenevere together. He kills his father.
Isolde Beloved of Tristram.
Elaine of Astolat Was in love with Lancelot. Deceived him into sleeping with her. She bore him a child-Galahad. After the child was born, Elaine takes her own life.
Despite fighting their feelings for each other, Guenevere and Lancelot fall in love.
Although they attempt to hide their feelings, some of the knights suspect them. Mordred arranges a plot to catch the Queen and her lover.