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King Arthur is the very famous name in European countries, particularly, in Britain. There are so many reasons behind why King Arthur is such an important figure in British History. Some people believe that King Arthur is just a myth and some other believe that he really existed in the history of British around 5th or 6th century. These two arguments of King Arthur existed or not still continue to remain as a puzzle for the next generation even until nowadays.
In order to understand this piece of writing deeply, first we will get to know some biography of King Arthur, also some of the reflection of the Legend that reflects on the medieval life, and at last the conclusion of this writing.
II. The Rise of King Arthur
Who Was King Arthur?
King Arthur is the son of King Uther Pendragon of Winchester and Igrayne, the queen of Cornwall (Queen Igrayne already had one husband before, named GorloÃ¯s, the King of Cornwall). After his birth, He was taken away by the Magician, Merlin and raised by an old honest knight, Sir Ector. Thus, during the childhood, King Arthur never knows that he is the son of king Uther. He didn’t know who were his father and mother. Later on, he learned the truth about his parents after he pulled out the divine short of his from the stone, the Excalibur.
King Arthur was a marvelous King because of his gifted with his talent in leading skill, his magic weapon sword Excalibur and also his skillful knights, particularly, Lancelot. Moreover, King Arthur was really a man of justice and fair.
How Did King Arthur Become a King?
It can be seen that king Arthur became the King was really decided already by fate. After King Uther died because of the poison, King Uther asked Merlin the magician to put the Sword, Excalibur, into the rock and announced that ” Whoever, able to take out this sword out of the rock, He will become the king of Winchester”.
There are thousands of men coming from different part of the land across sea, dessert to try to take the sword out of the rock. However, that sword was never able to be taken out of the rock by any mere men. The only man who is able to pull the Excalibur out of the rock was, the destined king of all Britain, King Arthur. That was why he was able to become a king of the Winchester then united all the land of Britain.
III. Reflection of the legends
Here comes the important part of this work. In this section we will learn that how did the legend reveal about the medieval life on socio-cultural aspect, economic and political aspect.
Firstly, we can see that, in the medieval time, People really believed in supernatural forces. There are many points of the story that shows that people at that time really believed in supernatural forces, Merlin the Magician and Lady Nimu the sorceress, when they cannot get what they want by their own human capabilities. For example, when King Uther wanted to get Queen Igrayne, but he could not attack the Castle of Cornwall, he asked the magician Merlin to help him to turn into GorloÃ¯s (ex husband of Queen Igrayne). According to the book King Arthur and the knights of the round table (Colbourn, n.d) contains a conversation between King Uther and Merlin that “‘I do not want Tintagel Castle,’ Uther said to Merlin. ‘I want Queen Igrayne. She will be my wife! Winter is coming and my men have little food. I will take the army back to inchester.But first, I must have Igrayne. Help me, Merlin. And I will do anything that you say.” This is shown that not only the people of medieval time but also the king that believe in magic, supernatural force.
Second, even though, King Arthur has fought and won many battles, the security inside the society was not really one hundred percents secured. For instance, there were many robbers or thieves still exist in the society. According to the King Arthur and the knights of the round table (Colbourn, n.d), has also written that on page 22 and 23 that “There were no battles to fight now, but they fought other enemies – robbers, ogres24, and evil magicians.”
Third, in order to unite the land, the king not only used the fighting method, but also the intermarriage method. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere get married in order to unite the land of Winchester and the land of Cameliard.
The economic at that time was quiet good. The first reason behind this because according to the same book as mentioned above, King Arthur has built a castle on the mountain above the river. He named that castle Camelot. Camelot was constructed by using the white stone and contained so many towers to watch out the enemies. After King Arthur and his knights back from war, they usually enjoyed their evening together in Camelot.
The second reason is that, since King Arthur became the King, he has been out to many battlefields including big battles, small battles and even war-scaled battles. This means that there were a lot of possibilities that King Arthur would take tribute from those land that he conquered to improve the economic in own kingdom, The Winchester.
In the medieval time, there was no clearly-defined bother between nations because there was no international organization watches over sovereignty of nations. That is why wars or upheavals usually occurred between nations. It was just like the strong beat over the weak. The weak was the loser, and the strong was the winner and gain a lot from the enemy territory. For example, tributes, resources and also human resources.
To prove that, on page 20 and 21 of the book has written about the story that ” Arthur returned to Winchester and gathered his knights.’We shall go to the east and to the north,’ he told them.We shall fight the invaders who attack the coast of our land.And we shall fight against the wild men of the north.Then Arthur led his men to the east and fought the invaders from the sea. The villagers in the east had left their homes and were hiding in the western lands. The villages were empty Arthur fought six battles. He carried the sword Excalibur into each battle and defeated his enemies. The invaders ran to their ships and went back across the sea. When the invaders had gone, the people returned to their villages. At last there was peace in the southern and eastern lands. Next, Arthur turned to the north. There he fought six battles against the wild men of the northern lands and won a great battle at Badon Hill. After this, there was peace in the northern lands too. The northern people made Arthur their king. Arthur had been fighting for six long years.
Such a long period of time of battling and also winning a lot of battles like that, we can draw a view from this story that, the economy of the medieval time around the 5th and 6th century was marvelous as well.
To brief, the legend of the marvelous King Arthur has really proven that the European countries that were under his control had a smooth running economy even though there were some social unrest and some wars. Moreover, People of European countries believed in spiritual force but they really appreciate the existence of King Arthur that able them to live in peace during his reign, regardless of some social insecurity.
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