Presentation on theme: "The Round Table The Round Table was a wedding gift given to King Arthur by his father-in-law. It was magical and could seat 50 – 150 knights at a time."— Presentation transcript:
The Round Table The Round Table was a wedding gift given to King Arthur by his father-in-law. It was magical and could seat 50 – 150 knights at a time (table expanded/contracted). Whenever a new knight joined the table, his name appeared on the back of one of the chairs.
The Round Table (cont.) Celtic warriors often met in circles to avoid fighting over who was the superior one. There is no "head of the table" at a round table, so no one person is at a privileged position. Therefore the knights were all peers and there was no "leader" as there was at many other medieval tables where the guests were seated according to rank, with the lowest sitting farthest from the head.
The Round Table (cont.) “ The Round Table” was constructed in the 13 th century, long after the Arthur legend was created. King Edward I took a great interest in all things Arthurian; he most likely had the table made and was present at the opening of Arthur's supposed tomb. This table still hangs in Winchester Castle.
The Round Table (cont.) Some believe the Round Table was a geographical landmark. In the 1490's, during King James IV's reign, a garden was built where the “King's Knot” is today.
Excalibur Arthur’s famous sword was first mentioned in 11 th century Welsh prose. Sometimes Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur's lineage) are said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. The sword in the stone, called Caledfwlch made Arthur king.
Excalibur (cont.) Arthur receives Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after breaking his first sword, called Caliburn, in a fight with King Pellinore. The Lady of the Lake calls the sword "Excalibur, that is as to say as Cut- steel," and Arthur takes it from a hand rising out of the lake. Giving the sword of magic (presumably made by an elven smith) is her acceptance of Arthur as protector of Britain. The sword and scabbard are enchanted: the scabbard protects the owner from being mortally wounded and the sword is supposed to be unbreakable.
The Holy Grail In Celtic folklore, the grail is a pearl-rimmed cauldron, a source for prophecy. A later version refers to a stone that provides food and drink, as well as ensuring anyone who sees it will not die in the next week. A “graal” was a flat dish for various dishes used at feasts. Over time, “graal” became “grail” in Arthurian mythology texts.
The Holy Grail (cont.) French poet Robert de Boron redefined the graal as a chalice, the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper and the one used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch His blood as He was taken down from the cross. According to Tom Malory, the grail was last seen in the possession of Joseph of Arimathea, who told Sirs Bors, Galahad, and Perceval that England was too evil, Arthur’s kingdom will fall, and he (Joseph) would take the grail forever.
First mention of Arthur was as Celtic king or chieftain who lived in England during the 6 th century and led his warriors against invading Saxons Current day understanding of Arthur can be traced back to a semi-historical text, History of the Kings of Britain, written in 1135 by Geoffrey of Monmouth Several versions of King Arthur’s origins exist, but all may be untrue Based on a chivalrous society where duty and honor are key characteristics
Refers to a relationship between knight and Lord The knight, being a good and obedient servant, extends this service to the ladies of the court Women are in control of the relationship; they can deny or return affection Men served the women as they would their Lord (both earthly and heavenly) A knight had to win a woman’s love through valiant deeds and gifts
Courtly love was not the same as married love Love changed when one married Most marriages were not based on love, but socio-economic forces, practical issues, and dynastic concerns Courtly love may have provided a model for the unmarried landless younger brothers, giving them an outlet for appropriate behavior towards their feudal lord’s wife and keeping them from stealing or raping women in the countryside
A Knight’s Code according to Henry Gilbert, author of King Arthur’s Knights “The duties of a ‘good and faithful knight’ were quite simple, but they were often very hard to perform. They were: to protect the distressed, to speak the truth, to keep his word to all, to be courteous and gentle to women, to defend right against might, and to do or say nothing that should sully the fair name of Christian knighthood.” (refer to handout for additional codes)