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King Arthur Legends Introduction Background information for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

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Presentation on theme: "King Arthur Legends Introduction Background information for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."— Presentation transcript:

1 King Arthur Legends Introduction Background information for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

2 King Arthur’s Setting Some legends were written as early as 1137 England was conquered by William the Conqueror (a Norman) in 1055 Some historians believe King Arthur may have been an actual person. One theory is that he was a warrior from the Dark Ages, maybe even a king or war-leader of the Celts. Logres aka Britain King Arthur’s palace and court was at Camelot.

3 Who became knights? Knights were usually of noble birth. (Remember Lanval was the son of a foreign king) Kings, princes, dukes, counts/earls, and barons formed the medieval army They were the only ones who could afford the armor, weapons, war- horse, and training.

4 Seating The head table was very important in medieval halls. Why? If we were to sit this class like a medieval hall with 5 seats up front, like a head table. Who would sit up here with Mrs. O’Boyle the queen of the class? Those that sit up here would get to help run the class, give suggestions for lessons, decide who passes and who fails. Anyone feel like they should be up here?

5 The Round Table The Round Table was introduced into Arthurian legend in 1155 by Wace an Anglo- Norman author. This tale alleges Arthur created the Round Table to stop the fighting for a position of honor. All knights were now equal, king or baron. Another legend claims Merlin created the Round Table during Uther Pendragon’s reign (Arthur’s father) to symbolize the roundness of the Earth. It was given to Arthur as part of Guinevere’s dowry. It could seat 150 knights; 100 seats were for Guinevere’s fathers knights; 50 were chosen by Merlin. One seat would remain empty until the Grail knight (a pure, chaste, without sin, honorable knight) could occupy it.

6 The Round Table The Round Table become the symbol of courage and chivalry

7 Merlin Saw Arthur as the best potential for creating a perfect world. Some theories believe Merlin was a Druid (an ancient Celtic priest, often portrayed as magicians and wizards).

8 The Knights of the Round Table Arthur’s knights became known throughout the land for their strength, courage, and their skill in combat and warfare The world could have been perfect, but the knights were flawed. Some of the most famous knights are:

9 Sir Gawain The Perfect knight Seen most often in Arthurian legends Sometimes identified as the Irish sun god Lugh

10 Sir Lancelot Aka Lancelot of the Lake Probably the most famous of Arthur’s knights Was the noblest figure in legend Become the lover of Queen Guinevere, which lead to the fall of Camelot Fathered a couple other Round Table knights Liked to win adventures in disguises (as White Knight, Black Knight, Red Knight) All Lancelot did in the name of love for ____?_____

11 Sir Percival One of the Grail knights The original Grail hero Young, unusual innocence Simple to the point of being stupid A childish temperament Probably because he was raised by his mother in the woods away from the court

12 Sir Galahad A Grail knight Son of Lancelot His chivalry was inspired with spiritual love Often called “The Good Knight” Pure He was the only knight who could sit on the Grail seat at the Round Table since he was the only hero who gained the Grail (which disappeared with him immediately when found)

13 Sir Bors A Grail knight Galahad and Perceval died during the Grail Quest Bors returned to Camelot to tell the tale of the completion of the quest

14 Sir Kay Foster brother of King Arthur Arthur made him his seneschal Some legends make him a noble and heroic figure Later authors made him a braggart and a fool, with a surly manner One tale has Kay at a tournament were Arthur had to fetch the sword Kay forgot. Arthur pulled Excalibur from a stone and became king Kay was one of Arthur’s best champions in early wars

15 Sir Bedivere King Arthur’s butler or cup-bearer and constable Was with Arthur when he died Arthur ordered him to throw Excalibur into a lake

16 Sir Griflet Actually threw Excalibur into the lake Saw a hand catch Excalibur, brandish it, then disappeared into the water

17 Sir Yvain Yvain the Great Aka Owain or Ywain Became King of Albany (Scotland) His mother was Morgan Le Fay (Arthur’s half-sister) Was banished from court by Arthur because of Morgan Le Fay’s plots against Arthur

18 King Pellinor Father of Perceval and other knights Hunted the Questing Beast Almost killed Arthur when they battled and Pellinor broke the sword from the stone. Merlin put Pellinor to sleep while Arthur got Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake Gawain killed Pellinor

19 Sir Mordred Son of King Arthur with half-sister Morgawse (aka Morgan Le Fay) Tried to take control of Camelot while Arthur was away Arthur and Mordred’s knights fought and this battle led to the fall of Camelot, especially since Lancelot was no longer at court with Arthur

20 Sir Gareth Sir Gaheris Sir Agravain Brothers to Sir Gawain

21 Remember… There are many different tales told by many different people in many different ways. That is why some of the information way seem contradictory

22 Now, on to…

23 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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