Arthur, who is son of King Uther Pendragon but was raised by another family, takes his rightful place as king when, as a boy, he is able to pull the sword called Excalibur from the stone.
Character Analysis Although King Arthur is one of the most well-known figures in the world, his true identity remains a mystery. Attempts to identify the historical Arthur have been unsuccessful, since he is largely a product of fiction.
Most historians, though, agree that the real Arthur was probably a battle leader of the Britons against the Anglo-Saxons in the sixthth century. There is never a clearly definitive picture that identifies Arthur's character.
It is therefore necessary to look at a few different sources to get better insight into the character of Arthur, the once and future king. Arthurian literature can be divided into two basic categories, pseudo-histories and romances. The main difference between the two is that pseudo-histories such as Wace and much of the Celtic work, for example, Geoffrey of Monmouth show Arthur as a strong, central character, making him the dominant figure in the story.
He is the one who goes on quests and battles, gaining respect and glory for his court. In romances, however, Arthur is most often overshadowed by his knights, staying mainly in the background as the source and the inspiration behind their great chivalric deeds.
The first written chronicle of Arthur's adventures comes from Nenniusa monk from North Wales. In his ninth century writing, Nennius tells of Arthur's twelve victories over the Saxons but describes him only as a dux bellorum "a leader of battles" and not a king.
It was Geoffrey of Monmouth who first proclaimed Arthur as king in his twelfth century Historia Regum Britanniae, which became the foundation for all Arthurian literature to follow. This work contains all of the most famous Arthurian elements such as the Sword in the Stone, the magical Merlin, and the love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere.
King Arthur's character has many faces. He is shown to be kind, wise and generous on one hand, yet at the same time, he can be seen as a weak king who is stubborn, childish, and unable to make wise decisions for himself or for the good of the court. He is described by Nennius as a powerful warrior, who is able to personally slay men in one charge.
Wace shows him possessing leadership qualities as he establishes the Round Table to ensure that justice and peace prevail. In Celtic legends, Arthur is a supernatural hero who battles giants, monsters, and witches.
Camelot and Arthurian Legend: Young Arthur is able to withdraw the sword from the stone because he has been chosen by God to be the next king. Officers in the Roman army carried shields bearing portraits of their emperors.
Geoffrey describes Arthur having a shield with the likeness of the Virgin Mary; this is a perfect image for a Christian hero who is primarily under the authority of God.
Yet there also exists a different Arthur. In Chretien de Troyes's Erec et Enide, knowing that it will bring harm to the court, Arthur insists on hunting the white stag. He is unable to defend himself when confronted with a challenge by Gromer Somer Jour and requires Sir Gawain's help.
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Arthur acts like a child, unable to sit still or eat until he has seen something great. And even though he rushes to accept the Green Knight's challenge, showing his courage, Arthur is later second-guessed as members of the court question his actions of placing his best knight, Sir Gawain in danger by saying, "Who would credit that a king could be counseled so, and caught in a cavil in a Christmas game?
Merlin's presence is key in Arthur's every step, even his birth. Arthur seems lost without Merlin's advice, and the decisions he makes against Merlin's wishes seem to backfire. Furthermore, in this tale, Arthur seems to be responsible for his own downfall.
By having an affair with Lot's wife, who turns out to be his half-sister, he fulfills Merlin's prophecy of his downfall as Mordred, who will later kill Arthur, is produced by this incestuous affair.
Also when Arthur, saddened by the death of Gareth and Gaheris, who are killed by Lancelot as he rescues Guinevere, states: And much more I am sorrier for my good knights' loss than for the loss of my fair queen; for queens I might have enough, but such a fellowship of good knights shall never be together in no company.King Arthur was a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.
The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is. King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.
The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is. Le Morte d'Arthur tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights at the Round Table. Arthur, who is son of King Uther Pendragon but was raised by another family, takes his rightful place as king when, as a boy, he is able to pull the sword called Excalibur from the stone.
Although he rules wisely. 1.
Tintagel. The legendary site of King Arthur’s conception is Tintagel Castle. Excavations demonstrated that, as the legends said, this was a fortified home of the ruler of Cornwall in about AD.
Tintagel has come to be associated with King Arthur as his birthplace, depicted by the Welsh monk Geoffrey of Monmouth in A History of the Kings of Britain (ca. ), and renewed by Alfred Lord Tennyson in Idylls of the King in the s.
The name King Arthur appears throughout a countless amount of literature, stories, cinema, and legend. King Arthur has always been a long-standing icon of heroism, and heroism is a theme mankind takes pleasure in romanticizing.