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The Legend of King Arthur


The Legend of King Arthur What is a Legend? a traditional historical tale or collection of related tales popularly regarded as true, but usually contain a mixture of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Legend of King Arthur

The Legend of King Arthur
What is a Legend?
  • a traditional historical tale or collection of
    related tales popularly regarded as true, but
    usually contain a mixture of fact and fiction

Who was King Arthur?
  • Ruins and history point to a probable Briton
  • May have been son of Uther Pendragon
  • Existed ca. 450-550 A.D.
  • Led battle of Mount Badon, defeating the Saxons

King Arthur of Legend
  • Son of Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine
  • Raised by Sir Ector with foster brother Kay
  • Proven heir to throne when he pulls the Excalibur
    from a stone
  • Educated and advised by Merlyn the Wizard

King Arthur Literary Tradition
  • First mentioned by a Welsh monk, Nennius in 800AD
  • A Briton warrior who defeats Saxons in 12 battles

Arthurian Literary Tradition
  • Although a Dark Ages figure, Arthur is
    romanticized by medieval writers
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth (12th century)
  • Chretien de Troyes (12th century)
  • Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte dArthur (15th

The Literary Tradition
  • Medieval authors used elements of Celtic
  • Blended in medieval concepts of knighthood and
  • Portrayed Arthur as a king, not warrior

Literary Tradition 19th and 20th Centuries
  • Lord Tennyson (poet)
  • T.H. White (The Once and Future King book one
    is The Sword in the Stone
  • Marian Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon)

The Round Table
  • A gift from his father in law
  • To unite the country, Arthur creates the Knights
    of the Round table.
  • Each city state (kingdom) is represented by a
  • No one knight, including King Arthur himself, has
    more power than another
  • Creates a democratic society

  • Medieval concept
  • Warriors and defenders
  • Competed in tournaments and jousts
  • Wore full armor
  • Loyal to local lord/king

The Code of Chivalry
  • A knight should
  • Use his strength for good
  • Be honorable and virtuous
  • Protect the weak
  • Be courteous
  • Respect and defend women
  • Defend the church
  • Be inspired by love

  • Synonymous with peace and perfection
  • Castle and seat of King Arthurs power
  • Constructed by Merlyn

Guinevere Lancelot
  • the beautiful Princess Guinevere as becomes
    Arthurs bride
  • Merlyn sees this will end disastrously.
  • Lancelot is a knight who will become one of
    Arthur's favorites and closest friends.

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the
    many stories that focuses on the other knights of
    the round table. This story comes at a time of
    piece, after the Round table has been established
    and Arthur is happily married to Guinevere.
  • Gawain is Arthur's Nephew, son of a sibling of

Mysteries and Evil Plots
  • Arthur has an older half sister - Morgan le Fey
    (fairy/witch) who believes she is the rightful
  • She sleeps with Arthur and conceives a son,
  • Mordred is raised to hate Arthur

Trouble At Home
  • During the search for the Holy Grail, Arthurs
    life begins to fall apart. Some versions of the
    story have Arthur gone 10-20 years on his quest.
  • Merlin is seduced by a young woman who steals his
    powers and imprisons him. Arthur is left without
    an advisor.
  • Upon his return, Arthur unknowingly knights his
    own son (Mordred) and invites him to the round

The Most Famous Affair in Literary History
  • Mordred discovers Guinevere and Lancelots affair
    (the two people that Arthur loves most) and
    convinces the rest of the Round Table to capture
    Lancelot in the act.
  • Lancelot escapes but Guinevere is captured and is
    to be burned at the stake for her treachery
    against the king. This leads to a civil war
    between the two and their knights.

The Fall of Camelot
  • Metaphorically, the country already had fallen
    with the betrayal of Arthurs only love and his
    best friend
  • There are many versions of the story. All of
    which end with Arthurs death in battle. Some of
    the versions include the following battles
  • Saxons
  • Romans
  • Goths
  • French
  • Irish
  • Lancelot
  • Morgan le fey
  • Mordred
  • All of the stories end with Arthurs glorious
    death in battle, all that any legendary king or
    hero can ask for