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King Arthur


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Title: King Arthur

King Arthur
  • Is there a real man
  • behind the myth?

What did Arthur look like?
Who was King Arthur?
  • Despite, or perhaps because of, so many authors
    accounts of King Arthur, it is impossible to
    discern which Arthur is the real Arthur, or if in
    fact there is one at all. Some works are
    considered historical, and some literature,
    though this distinction is hardly credible since
    it is based on the authors societal position
    during his lifetime. The Authors were rarely
    specific about Arthurs life most did not
    discuss the time or place of Arthurs reign.
    Therefore, much of our information is not
    factual. With that in mind, Here are the accounts
    of some of the more Prominent contributors to the
    Arthurian Myth.

Arthurian England
Historia BrittonumNennius
  • Nennius wrote his histories in Bangor in the 9th
    century. He was the first to write about King
    Arthur and focused mainly on his battles. His
    writings are important because, while they may
    not be entirely true, they Allow us to place
    Arthurs story in a verifiable time in history.
    He mentions Arthurs battles in the midst of
    other historical battles with which we are
    familiar. It is probable, though, that Nennius
    was writing about a man who is not the Arthur
    with whom we are most familiar.

Arthur of BritainGeoffrey of Monmouth
  • Geoffreys account of Arthur is included in his
    History of the Kings of Britain (12th century),
    and is considered historical. However, this does
    not make it entirely reliable. He placed Arthur
    in the 5th century, but He incorporated many
    Welsh legends into his writings and invented many
    himself. For example, only in his History is
    Arthurs sword known as Caliburn and the
    character of Mordred is his nephew.

The Knight of the CartChretien de Troyes
  • Chretien De Troyes was a french writer in the
    mid-12th century he was born when Geoffrey of
    Monmouth was published. His literature can be
    held accountable for the introduction of
    Lancelot, Camelot, and the Holy Grail into
    Arthurian Legend. His stories did not focus
    directly on Arthur, but used his court as a
    backdrop. The Knight of the Cart tells the story
    of Lancelots rescue of Guinevere from Melegeant.
    He tells nothing of Merlin, Excalibur, or any of
    the knights of the Round Table.

Joseph dArimathia MerlinRobert de Boron
  • Robert De Boron lived in Burgundy and wrote his
    Poems in 1180. His works are considered to be
    literature as well. He elaborates on the presence
    of the Holy Grail, but Arthur is hardly
    mentioned. At the time He was writing, The
    supposed bones of the real Arthur and Guinevere
    were found at Glastonbury. This refuted the
    belief that Glastonbury was previously Aval0n,
    the burial site of the Holy grail, because Arthur
    never found the Grail.

The Vulgate Cyclevarious authors
  • The Vulgate Cycle is a medieval collection of
    eight volumes telling the most detailed story of
    Arthur. This account involved every central
    character found in all Arthurian literature,
    including Nimue, Merlins true love. It defines
    Lancelots and Guineveres affair as the central
    cause for the breakdown of Arthurs Round Table.
    This text adopts much of its plot from Robert De
    Boron and Chretien De Troyes.

The Death of ArthurSir Thomas Malory
  • Sir Thomas Malory wrote during the reign of King
    Henry V (to whom Malorys Arthur looks very
    similar). He places Arthurs Court in
    Winchester, where Arthur is the reigning leader
    of all men. The title of his book is misleading,
    and was given by a mistaken editor at the
    printing press. In his later works, Lancelot
    becomes the dynamic protagonist of Malorys
    stories. In fact, he was the Hero of his own
    novel, called the tale of Sir Lancelot Du Lake.

The Coming Of ArthurAlfred Lord Tennyson
  • Tennyson wrote a series of poems and novelettes
    about most of the characters found throughout
    Arthurian history, focusing on no one in
    particular. His book The Coming of Arthur focuses
    on Arthurs conquests and his marriage to
    Guinevere, but does not mention Lancelot or
    Merlin (who appears five poems later).

The Once And Future KingThe Book of MerlynT.H.
  • Whites classic work is a beloved combination of
    four previous ones The Sword In The Stone, The
    Queen Of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight,
    and The Candle In The Wind. These four stories
    tell of the King Arthur with which everyone today
    is most familiar. This story was made into a
    made-for-tv movie in 1998. T.H. White then
    continued the story in his Book of Merlyn, which
    colors and completes Merlins life.

Where does History point?
  • Though we dont know the exact history of Arthur,
    it is safe to assume that he was a leader forced
    to defend his land from many different invaders.
    Geoffrey of Monmouth probably came closest to
    giving us a reliable history, because He wrote
    Arthur as a Celtic chieftain fighting the Saxons.
    This account is likely to be factual because
    history tells us that after the 5th century, the
    Celts were forced into Cornwall, Wales, and
    Scotland by the Saxons.

Will we ever know?
  • Over the years, Arthurs story has been edited,
    elaborated, and artistically altered by dozens of
    authors It would be impossible today to distill
    the facts from the fiction. Is there a real man
    behind the myth? However solid our evidence may
    be, and whoever claims to know the Correct
    story, we will probably never know the answer to
    this question. However, there is no doubt that
    his legacy as a true Mystical hero will endure
    for generations to come.

The End
  • Rise, Brian Edward. Arthurian Legend.
    Encyclopedia Mythica. April 27, 2004.
  • Nennius. Historia Brittonium. April 27, 2004.
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth. The history of the kings of
    Britain. Penguin USA 1977.
  • King Arthur A Man For the Ages.
  • The Legends of King Arthur. San Francisco
    University. April 22, 2004.
  • http//
  • The Prose Vulgae Cycle. The Norton Anthology of
    English Literature. May 1, 2004.
  • King Arthur and the Matter of Britain. May 3,
    2004. http//

By Amelia Taber