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The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has followed the Western European civilizations throughout the centuries beginning sometime prior to 1100 A.D. Although the legend changed and developed throughout time, the text that most represents the Arthur legend as it exists today is that brought together in book form by Sir Thomas Malory in 1485 under the title Le Morte D’Arthur. This story itself was developed utilizing many sources existing in Malory’s day including numerous Norman-French romances and an English alliterative epic entitled “Morte Arthur” (Baines, xi). However, the legend didn’t stop developing with Malory. Even as recently as 1982, authors were developing their own perspective of the Arthur legend in stories such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. Movies such as “King Arthur” have been made as recently as 2004, also attempting to demystify the ancient reality from romanticized, heavily Christian-influenced myth. From Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur to Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, the story of King Arthur transforms itself from a heroic, male-centric, Christian-oriented tale of great deeds to a female-oriented retelling of a decidedly non-Christian era and the rise and fall of the man who would bridge the dividing faiths.
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