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King arthur - Essay Example

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Despite the lack of conclusive evidence regarding their actual existence, it is undeniable that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have greatly influenced and inspired people across the ages. The adventures and gallantries of these remarkable characters have served as theme for myriad forms of literature which we continue to enjoy hitherto…
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Download file to see previous pages According to legend, he was the son of Uther Pendragon, king of Britain, and Ygraine of Cornwall. During his childhood, Arthur's identity was kept anonymous. Upon his maturity, he was abruptly presented to the people as their king and became a prudent and brave ruler ("Microsoft Encarta"). On the other hand, in the early Latin chronicles, Arthur is characterized as a "dux bellorum," i.e. a military leader rather than a king or emperor ("Camelot Project"). Despite the varying depiction, Arthur consistently appears as the epitome of ideal kingship ("Wikipedia").
Based on the Arthurian romances that gained popularity in the 12th century, Arthur gained the throne as he was the only one who had successfully withdrawn the Excalibur, a magical sword, from a stone. Many others attempted but failed since this act could not be accomplished apart from the "true king." This implied that Arthur was indeed the divinely appointed king and the true heir of Uther Pendragon ("Wikipedia"). He then established a court at Camelot, which is believed to be the modern Caerleon on the southern border of Wales or the great hill fort at South Cadbury in Somerset ("The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy").
At Camelot, Arthur gathered the Knights of the Round Table, which were comprised of Sir Aglova...
ne; Sir Ector de Maris, son of King Ban of Benwick; Sir Florence, son of Sir Gawain; Sir Gaheris; Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot's son and the hero of the quest for the Holy Grail; Sir Gareth; Sir Gawain, Arthur's nephew, who at some points appeared as the embodiment of knightly courtesy and bitter opponent of Lancelot; Sir Geraint; Sir Kay, Arthur's villainous foster brother; Sir Lamorak; Sir Lancelot; Sir Lucan; Sir Palamedes the Saracen; Sir Percival; Sir Tristan; and Sir Yvain, son of King Uriens of Gore (Lacy). These knights were awarded the highest order of chivalry at the court of King Arthur as narrated in the literary cycle, the Matter of Britain.
According to Sir Thomas Malory, the knights abided by a set of rules called the Code of Chivalry. Provisions of this code include not committing outrage or murder; fleeing treason; not succumbing to cruelty but instead giving mercy to those who ask; helping and never forcing ladies, gentlewomen or widows; and not taking up wicked battles for love or worldly goods.
Aside from Arthur and his knights, the Arthurian legend also featured notable characters such as Merlin, a powerful wizard possessing the gifts of prophesy and metamorphosis who partook in the court at Camelot and revealed the existence of the Holy Grail to Arthur, and Queen Guinevere, the wife of Arthur. Moreover, it gives an account of the knights' numerous quests, perhaps the most famous of which is the search for the Holy Grail ("Wikipedia"), and Arthur's wars and victories, which extended to the European continent where he triumphantly fought the Roman Empire forces ("Microsoft Encarta").
One of the main themes in the Arthurian legend is the downfall of Arthur's kingdom, which is primarily attributed to two reasons. In the chronicle tradition, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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