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The Legend of King Arthur Challenge I. Challenge I Objective: Identify characters and background information pertaining to the Legend of King Arthur Directions:

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Presentation on theme: "The Legend of King Arthur Challenge I. Challenge I Objective: Identify characters and background information pertaining to the Legend of King Arthur Directions:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legend of King Arthur Challenge I

2 Challenge I Objective: Identify characters and background information pertaining to the Legend of King Arthur Directions: Your job is to "think" about the questions and complete the worksheet: Skim and scan to find your answers.

3 Who? (3 facts) King Arthur: The Once and Future King Legendary King of Britain from around 400 AD to 600 AD, Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine, whose actual name might have been its Latin version, Arturus. This king is mentioned briefly in the Easter Annals, or the Annals of Wales, describing battles of the sixth century, and later by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of the Kings of Britain (ca 1136). According to legend, Arthur's conception takes place when Uther seduces Igraine. Uther was made, by Merlin's sorcery, to resemble Igraine's husband, Gorlois. After Arthur was born, he was given to Ector to be raised in secret. Uther died in battle shortly after Arthur's birth. However, before Uther died, he planted Excalibur in a stone where it remained for many years. Merlin said that whoever withdrew the sword from the stone would be the future king of Britain. Though many tried to remove the sword, Arthur alone succeeded. However, this young King stirred controversy among other knights who had been competing for king. Arthur, under the guidance of Merlin, stopped the rebellion against him and married Guinevere. After this Arthur established the Knights of the Round Table at the castle of Camelot.

4 Guinevere Arthur's queen, reputedly the most beautiful woman in Britain, and the lover of Lancelot, Arthur's best knight. She is occasionally a political pawn in the hands of Mordred, other knights, even Arthur himself, and with the help of Lancelot, she escapes a number of predicaments, including kidnapping by Sir Meliagaunt, burning at the stake, and later, marriage with her step-son. In Malory, she flees after Arthur's death to Amesbury, where she becomes a nun, as well as "abbess and ruler, as reason would." After the last battle in which Arthur and many others are killed, Lancelot comes to find her there, and when Guinevere sees him as she walks with the sisters in the cloister, she swoons three times so "that all ladies and gentlewomen had work enough to hold the queen from the earth." Who? (3 facts)

5 What was the importance of the round table? (3 facts) Accounts differ about the origin of the Round Table, at which Arthur's knights met to tell of their deeds and from which they invariably set forth in search of further adventures. The Norman chronicler Wace was the first to mention it, in his Roman de Brut of There, he simply says that Arthur devised the idea of a round table to prevent quarrels between his barons over the question of precedence. Another writer, Layamon, adapted Wace's account and added to it, describing a quarrel between Arthur's lords which was settled by a Cornish carpenter who, on hearing of the problem, created a portable table which could seat 1600 men. Both Wace and Layamon refer to Breton story-tellers as their source for this and there is little reason to doubt them. This being the case, the origins of the table may well date back to Celtic times, and even be traceable to the age of Arthur himself. In the later medieval stories, however, it is Merlin who is responsible for the creation of the table. Malory, taking up the theme and developing it, made it the centre-piece of his epic re-telling.

6 Where and When did Arthur live? King Arthur: The Once and Future King Legendary King of Britain from around 400 AD to 600 AD, Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine, whose actual name might have been its Latin version, Arturus. This king is mentioned briefly in the Easter Annals, or the Annals of Wales, describing battles of the sixth century, and later by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of the Kings of Britain (ca 1136). According to legend, Arthur's conception takes place when Uther seduces Igraine. Uther was made, by Merlin's sorcery, to resemble Igraine's husband, Gorlois. After Arthur was born, he was given to Ector to be raised in secret. Uther died in battle shortly after Arthur's birth. However, before Uther died, he planted Excalibur in a stone where it remained for many years. Merlin said that whoever withdrew the sword from the stone would be the future king of Britain. Though many tried to remove the sword, Arthur alone succeeded. However, this young King stirred controversy among other knights who had been competing for king. Arthur, under the guidance of Merlin, stopped the rebellion against him and married Guinevere. After this Arthur established the Knights of the Round Table at the castle of Camelot.

7 How and why did Arthur do what he did to become king? The Sword in the Stone, sometimes a sword in an anvil, is drawn by Arthur as proof of his birthright and of his nobility. It is both a test and a miraculous sign of his royalty. The sword drawn from the stone is different from the one given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake. The latter is always referred to as Excalibur; the former is called by that name only once, when Arthur draws the sword at a crucial moment in the first battle to test his sovereignty.

8 Why do you think the concept of the round table and equality might have been so important to King Arthur?


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