4 Why did people write stories about him? WDYKAKA Question #3?Why did people write stories about him?
5 Why is Arthur Important? Provided a hero to a conquered people.Think of all the invasions we’ve discussedTales form a common bond between Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman.Warrior King Arthur – Anglo-SaxonChivalric Tradition – Anglo-NormanSecond most referenced character in Western Literature.
6 Did he exist? Historical Arthur Fictional Arthur Celtic/Anglo-Saxon ArthurWelsh chieftainwarrior in the histories ofmay have really existed – not a kingAnglo-Norman Arthurcould just be a combination of great leadersNormans add chivalry, romance, quest, love, etc.Norman romances focus more on knights.
7 What is a legend?a traditional historical tale or collection of related tales popularly regarded as true, but usually contain a mixture of fact and fictionnot to be confused with a myth (A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society)
8 Arthurian Literary Tradition Nennius9th centuryWelsh monkwrote Historia Brittonum1st reference to an ArthurHis Arthur is the “greatest of all the Celts”an important hero to the declining Celtic community.
9 Arthurian Literary Tradition Geoffrey of Monmouth12th centurywrote Historia Regumn Britanniaeone of the most important books of the Middle Agesadd Merlin to the Arthurian legendtales mostly focused on Arthur with little mention of his other knights.inspired the next generation of authors
10 Arthurian Literary Tradition Chrétien de Troyes12th centuryFrenchintroduces character of Lancelot and the Arthur / Guinevere / Lancelot love triangleromance / single hero adventuresexample of Anglo-Norman cultural influence with the increased influence of the chivalric tradition
11 Arthurian Literary Tradition Sir Thomas Malory15th centuryEnglishcompiled the various tales into one work: Le Mort d’ArthurThe Death of Arthurexpands the characters of Lancelot and Guinevere and makes the affair chaste and purestill read today and highly influential
12 Arthurian Literary Tradition Alfred, Lord Tennyson19th centuryEnglishcomposed many works on the Arthurian tradition: “The Lady of Shalott,” “The Death of Arthur,” “Idylls of the King”Father of the Arthurian Renaissance in Victorian England
13 Arthurian Literary Tradition T. H. White20th centuryEnglishwrote The Sword in the Stone (1938) and The Once and Future King (1958)based heavily on Malory’s workThe Once and Future King deals with darker themes as Arthur grows older
14 Key Themes Love Triangle Arthur / Guinevere / Lancelot Traitor/Judas FigureMordredLancelotFall of the central community / end of orderGrailCup that Jesus drank out of at the Last SupperJoseph of Arimithea brought grail to EnglandWhat does the grail represent?Unanswered philosophical / cosmological questions“quest” which requires much of the individual
15 Key Characters Uther Pendragon – Arthur’s biological father Igraine – Arthur’s biological motherSir Ector – Arthur’s adoptive fatherMerlin – Arthur’s counselor, prophet & wizardMorgan le Fay – Arthur’s half- sister; magical; adversarySir Kay – son of Sir Ector; Arthur’s step-brotherMordred – Arthur’s nephew; kidnaps Guinevere and rebels; killed by Lancelot
16 Key ObjectsExcalibur – Arthur’s magical sword; given to him by the Lady of the LakeThe Holy Grail – the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper; used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Christ’s bloodThe Round Table – the table given as part of Guinevere’s dowry; the idea that everyone is equal
17 What is a Romance?A romance is an imaginative story concerned with noble heroes, chivalric codes of honor, passionate love, daring deeds, & supernatural events.In the Middle Ages in Europe, wandering storytellers would retell adventurous tales of knights and other noble heroes. These became known as romances, which, over time, moved from the oral tradition into written versionsWriters of romances tend to idealize their heroes as well as the eras in which the heroes live.
18 What is a Romance?Romances typically include these motifs: adventure, quests, wicked adversaries, & magic.Motif: an idea, object, place, or statement that appears frequently throughout a piece of writing, which helps contribute to the work’s overall themeRomance hero – a knight of superhuman strength, intelligence, and virtue who follows the code of chivalry
19 What is a Romance?Exotic Setting: Romances are set in imaginary kingdoms with great castles, enchanted lakes, and forest populated with giants and monsters.Supernatural elements: sorcerers and magic spells, giants and dragons, mysterious evil forces and foreknowledge of future events---such elements all play a part in romances.Hidden identities: In a romance, others are often unaware of a character’s true identity. The truth is usually revealed at the climax of the tale.
20 Chapter 1- The Prophecies of Merlin and the Birth of Arthur Which aspects of Arthur’s birth are similar to Beowulf? How are they different?How important is family to the development of an individual?What does the explanation of Arthur’s coming suggest about Medieval culture? What was valued? What was not?