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Overview Of The Legend Of King Arthur

1615 words (6 pages) Essay in History

02/05/17 History Reference this

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Since the beginning of literature and storytelling there been stories of great heroes and kings. King Arthur is the most known story and most loved story of all these legendary figures. The legend of King Arthur, one of the most profound stories of western literature. Many stories can be found throughout the world about this legend. There are many skeptic to prove that this man never really existed but there are also evidence to prove that King Arthur did existed and fought in many battles and is known to have many nights at his side. It is told that he lived in Camelot and had knights at his side and the legendary roundtable. The debate raged since the Renaissance when Arthur’s historicity was vigorously defended, partly because the Tudor monarchs traced their lineage of Arthur. King Arthur legacy both myth and reality will be discussed along with the many different stories revolving around his legacy and the many battles that King Arthur along with the literature behind this legend.

Before we tell you the story of the great King Arthur we have to tell you about his family. His father the great Uther Pendragon was the father of King Arthur he was the brother of Ambroisus who ascend the great throne of Britain. He soon fall in love with Igraine the wife of Gorlois whom was the Duke of Cornwall. They soon went to war and one night Merlin magically made Pendragon assume the likeness of Grolois and meet Igraine one night and after that night Igraine became pregnant and had King Arthur. Later in the years Grolois died and Igraine and Uther Pendragon got married. King Arthur was born but was taken away from his family because of the danger Merlin vision and place in the care of Ector until he was ready to ascend the throne rightfully chosen for him. It is said the Merlin instilled a magical sword with an insignia on the sword in a stone which only the true king of Britain could pull out. After Arthur became king he created a legion of knights and the forever known Roundtable. One of King Arthur most famous knight Sir Lancelot was Arthur most known knight of them all.

He has many stories portraying his adventures and quest one of even saving King Arthur later to be wife Guinevere and the quest for the Holy Grail. He later is said to have adultery with the Guinevere and this is to be said which ended King Arthur and Camelot.

Lady Guinevere was said to be the descendant of a noble family of Romans and is to be “the loveliest woman in the entire island” In later tales she is the daughter of Leodegrance. She is later rescued by Sir Lancelot and brought to Camelot and later is married to King Arthur. At first she doesn’t play a huge part in the Arthurian legend but later on her roles gets bigger later on in the years. In earlier tales she is a faithful wife but later on she is said to have an affair with Sir Lancelot.

King Arthur is say to have fought in numerous battles but most was against the nomadic invaders the Anglo Saxons. The Anglo Saxons is Germanic tribes who settled in Britain between 4th and 7th century. They background is varied. Some called them mercenaries, others called them invaders. They slowly but surely lead conquest through Celts and to Britain. They soon meet with King Arthur and his legion of knights in battle many times over the course of these centuries. King Arthur was said to have won many battles against these invader and soon drives them out of Britain.

After warring with the Anglo saxions King Arthur settle down and established the famous roundtable which all of Arthur knights attended daily. It was there they conversed about their quest throughout Camelot but none was compared to the great knight of the all” Sir Lancelot” he had many quest including helping find King Arthur wife, Guinevere and the great quest for the holy grail, but Lancelot would never be able to find the it because of his adultery with King Arthur wife he would never be able to see it because his heart was not pure. His son Perceval soon goes on the quest for the Holy Grail throughout Britain until Perceval find a castle in a land of a spear-wounding King. He was entertained by the “Grail King”, however he failed to ask the grail and left empty-handed. Years later Galahad arrived and he was permitted entry into the Grail Chapel and allowed to gaze upon the Holy Grail. Galahad life became complete and together the grail and Galahad were lifted to the heavens.

On the interior of Camelot was erupting from the inside out. After finding out about Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, King Arthur was heartbroken and despised his most famous knight to the point he casted him away from Camelot but no one knows what happen to Guinevere. Soon Camelot would come under attack by Mondred who been trying to take Camelot away from Arthur while he was away. Arthur fought numerous battles all the way back to Camelot where he faced Mondred in combat. They fought until Mondred was dead and Arthur was mortally wounded. He was found by one of his knights and he was ordered to throw his famous sword “Excalibur” back into the lake but he couldn’t do it and went back to King Arthur three times for explanation until finally he throw the sword in the water only to see a hand rise from the lake to clutch the sword. Then ordered his men to take him to the Isles where he spends his finally days. He is later buried next to a chapel in Britain.

The details of Arthur’s story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians.Many are still skeptical in the truth behind King Arthur but there was a character in reality who was King Arthur but from much perspective his name was Arthurious. He was the son of Uther Pendragon and the daughter of Irgaine who was the wife of the Duke of Gorlois of Cornwall. There are also studies during the nineteenth century history that Arthur had a son Amr, as well as a dog named cadal. It is said that King Arthur killed his own son but Nennius doesn’t state the reason why he did it. This was found out by nineteenth century historian Nannies. Historian have alternately proclaimed and scoffed as Arthur’s existence over the centuries, and yet none wants to be the first to totally tear the legend apart. Many believed that he did if fact exists, if not quite as the romantic hero he has become. Many believed him to be a Dark-age warrior, perhaps even a petty king or war-leader. The existence of several-warlords in the fifth century AD make it highly possible that Arthur could have held a similar role in the sixth century , but he was likely not only one to do so. The best way to study Arthur is to begin by examining the documentary evidence for the period between AD 450-550, the century most likely to have covered much of King Arthur’s lifetime.

Many archaeologists believed that king Arthur fought in many battles but only two was documented battles, these of Badon in AD 516 and the Battle of Camlann in 537, are the nearest historical events which could prove Arthur existence. He probably fought against Anglo Saxon until his perhaps his death at Camlann. Arthur was believe to be a knight but a not a knight in shining armor.

They say that King Arthur had knights but which one of them are real knights? It was believed that Sir Lancelot was a true figure in King Arthur story and Sir Gawain was also a real knight who was one of King Arthur personal knights. Many archaeologists believe to be many more knights but no evidence has yet to reveal any other knights of the century.

Based on earlier legends, Guinevere is said to be a ward of Cadar. They say Guinevere came from a noble roman family. Other legends say that she was the daughter of Leodegan king of Camelide. After Arthur is helped Leodegan, Arthur is betrothed to Guinevere. She was said to be a wise queen as she was beautiful. She was said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was abducted many times as she was rescued. The adultery between her and Sir Lancelot is still a mystery people still believed some form of adultery was committed while other believed that never really happened.


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“Battle of Badon.” King Arthur ~ Arthurian Adventure ~ Web. 23 Apr. 2010. .

King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table | History, Legend and Everything in Between. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. .

Arthurian Legend. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. .

Archaeology Magazine. Web. 23 Apr. 2010.

King Arthur – History and Archaeology.” Legends. Web. 22 Apr. 2010. .

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