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The Legend of King Arthur. Who was King Arthur? There is great debate over who he was There is great debate over who he was Possibly a king, a prince,

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Presentation on theme: "The Legend of King Arthur. Who was King Arthur? There is great debate over who he was There is great debate over who he was Possibly a king, a prince,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legend of King Arthur

2 Who was King Arthur? There is great debate over who he was There is great debate over who he was Possibly a king, a prince, or a renowned soldier Possibly a king, a prince, or a renowned soldier May have been son of Uther May have been son of Uther Existed A.D. Existed A.D. Led battle of Mount Badon, defeating the Saxons Led battle of Mount Badon, defeating the Saxons

3 King Arthur of Legend Biological son of Uther and Igraine Raised by Sir Ector with foster brother Kay Constans, King of Britain Ambrosius/Uther Arthur Igraine MoinesPendragon

4 King Arthur of Legend Proven heir to throne when he pulls the Excalibur from a stone Proven heir to throne when he pulls the Excalibur from a stone Educated and advised by Merlyn the Wizard Educated and advised by Merlyn the Wizard Presided over the Knights of the Round Table Presided over the Knights of the Round Table Won respect and loyalty of all of knights Won respect and loyalty of all of knights Married to Guinevere Married to Guinevere

5 King Arthur of Legend Reigned over 20 years of peace Reigned over 20 years of peace Son/Nephew Mordred against his reign Son/Nephew Mordred against his reign Mordred died; Arthur mortally wounded Mordred died; Arthur mortally wounded Arthur died and was buried in Glastonbury Abbey Arthur died and was buried in Glastonbury Abbey Some said he would return to avenge his death and reign again Some said he would return to avenge his death and reign again

6 King Arthur – the Literary Tradition First mentioned in 800 A.D. in chronicle by Nennius First mentioned in 800 A.D. in chronicle by Nennius  Arthur fought Saxons in 12 battles  Arthur killed 960 Saxons single-handed

7 King Arthur – the Literary Tradition Popularized and romanticized by medieval writers including:  Geoffrey of Monmouth: History of the Kings of Britain (12 th century)  Chretien de Troyes: Erec & Ened, Yvain, Lancelot, Count of the Grail (12 th century)  Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte d’Arthur (15 th century)

8 King Arthur – the Literary Tradition Medieval authors used some elements of Celtic mythology and fantasy Medieval authors used some elements of Celtic mythology and fantasy Included medieval concepts such as knighthood and chivalry Included medieval concepts such as knighthood and chivalry Portrayed Arthur as a king, rather than as an active warrior Portrayed Arthur as a king, rather than as an active warrior Wrote for an aristocratic, upper class audience Wrote for an aristocratic, upper class audience

9 King Arthur – the Literary Tradition Post-Medieval Writers: Post-Medieval Writers:  Lord Tennyson – Idylls of the King  T.H. White – Once and Future King (1939)  Sword in the Stone is 1 of 5 books  Marian Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon

10 Knighthood Historically, knights were warriors and defenders Historically, knights were warriors and defenders Dressed in full armor Dressed in full armor Competed in tournaments and jousts to show their warrior skills Competed in tournaments and jousts to show their warrior skills In knighting ceremony, vows to “be valiant, courteous, and loyal” In knighting ceremony, vows to “be valiant, courteous, and loyal”

11 The Code of Chivalry A Good Knight: Uses his strength for good Uses his strength for good Strives to be honorable and virtuous Strives to be honorable and virtuous Protects the weak Protects the weak Is courteous Is courteous Respects and defends women Respects and defends women Is a defender of the Christian church Is a defender of the Christian church Is inspired to greatness by love Is inspired to greatness by love

12 Camelot King Arthur’s castle King Arthur’s castle Meeting place of the Knights of the Round Table Meeting place of the Knights of the Round Table The seat of King Arthur’s power The seat of King Arthur’s power Constructed by Merlyn Constructed by Merlyn Embodies ideals of knighthood Embodies ideals of knighthood

13 Merlyn Son of an incubus (an evil spirit) and virtuous mother Son of an incubus (an evil spirit) and virtuous mother Sent as a sacrifice for King Vortigern Sent as a sacrifice for King Vortigern Merlyn saw that there were two fighting dragons under the foundation: Merlyn saw that there were two fighting dragons under the foundation:  the white dragon represented the Britons  the red dragon represented the Saxons Dragons fight and the white one wins Dragons fight and the white one wins Merlyn predicted that Vortigern would be slain Merlyn predicted that Vortigern would be slain

14 Merlyn Has magical powers: Has magical powers:  Insight into the future  Power of transformation Advisor to Kings Pendragon, Uther, and Arthur Advisor to Kings Pendragon, Uther, and Arthur Responsible for Arthur’s education Responsible for Arthur’s education Is eventually entrapped by Viviane, an enchantress Is eventually entrapped by Viviane, an enchantress Sends Arthur’s knight on the Quest of the Holy Grail Sends Arthur’s knight on the Quest of the Holy Grail

15 Morgan Le Fey Called Queen of the fairies, an enchantress, and sorceress Called Queen of the fairies, an enchantress, and sorceress Said to be Arthur’s half-sister Said to be Arthur’s half-sister Is a constant tormentor to Arthur Is a constant tormentor to Arthur Has magical powers similar to Merlyn Has magical powers similar to Merlyn

16 The Arthurian Legend - Summary Is loosely based on a real historical figure Is loosely based on a real historical figure Is not historically accurate Is not historically accurate Has roots in Celtic mythology Has roots in Celtic mythology Include elements of fantasy and magic Include elements of fantasy and magic Include medieval ideals and institutions such as knighthood and chivalry Include medieval ideals and institutions such as knighthood and chivalry The themes are still seen today The themes are still seen today


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