It would have been during the time when the islands of Britain were being threatened with invasion by the Saxons, following the collapse of the Roman Empire and the withdrawal of Roman Legions from Britain. Authors often embellish the tales of King Arthur to fit their own purposes. Through the centuries, the concept of Arthur didn't stay the same, and there is no "standard" Arthurian Legend (Dumville 9). The truth about King Arthur may never be known, however there are many theories in which logical guesses concur with the writings during that time. King Arthur does not appear in the legends until around 1170 AD, when it is mentioned in "Lancelot (Bromwich 42)."
MERLIN There is bitter controversy among scholars and theologians alike as to whether of not Merlin was a real historical figure or a product of literary imagination. Much of the earlier poetry attributed to him in Welsh manuscripts, it seems, comes from authentic prophetic verse that Merlin himself spoke. Merlin was first seen in Geoffrey of Monmouthís History of the Kings of Britain written c. 1136. Many people do not accept Geoffreyís words as truth. Many say that Geoffrey wrote Merlinís legendary Prophecy referring to twelfth-century politics of King Henry IIí court.
What the archaeological remains do are create a record, a time line based on tangible physical evidence for a mythic, literary figure. What is important to remember, is that the archaeology of Arthurian sites is one thing and Arthurian literature is another. The same is true for early 'histories' of King Arthur; they may be based on fact but there was such a time lapse between the actual events and recorded history, that these sources are questionable at best. These written sources, both fact and fiction, may dissect at times and compliment the archaeological record, but the characters of Morgaine le Fay, Lancelot, Merlin, Guinievere, or even Arthur are not going to be buried in the years accumulation of soil, waiting to be discovered, to tell us their tales; but the archaeology of these sites, taken as a key to the factual past of Anglo-Saxon history, can be just as fascinating.
By looking at the context in which the stories of King Arthur survived, and the evidence pertaining to his castle Camelot and the Battle of Badon Hill, we can begin to see that Arthur is probably not a king as the legend holds. While stories about the places that Arthur has lived, visited and fought at are numerous, attempts at pinpointing many of these sites have been futile. Arthur's most famous battle, the Battle of Badon Hill, cannot be ascribed a location. Depending on the historian, the Battle of Badon Hill could have been located at many different places: According to Alcock, the battle at Mount Badon took place on a hill near Bath; while Wood attempts to pin the battle at Liddington castle. If we are unable to be sure of a location at which a massive battle took place (and indeed, his most famous), how can we be sure that Arthur truly existed?
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. GRAPH 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.
Then, of course, we must ask what period? Well the medieval writers with all their fancy did know, more or less, that they were being a bit vague. They don't give us many real dates but they place King Arthur somewhere in the period from about 450 A.D. to 550 A.D. That, of course, is longer than any one man could have reigned, but they see him as living somewhere about that time, and they were right. This, in fact, is where the story we know began its career, but the foundations for the medieval romances had been laid a little before, in the old legends about Arthur.
What role did the great King Arthur play in the way English Literature is perceived? Did King Arthur honestly exist? “Whether King Arthur existed or not is doubtful. However if King Arthur did exist, then he would have lived sometime between 400 AD and 600 AD, a time of turmoil in Britain following the Roman withdrawl. And a time when written literature did not exist, therefore events during this period are only known about from folklore passed down several generations before being written down, or from modern archeology giving insights from excavations of sites.
As well the actions of King Arthur don’t correspond with the typical actions of a king at the time. Also the events described in the tales of King Arthur are not linked to any real historical events. King Arthur’s legend was magnificent in a way that represents the spirit of kingship at the time, but sadly, it may have been nothing but a bedtime story. According to historical records, there was no one named King Arthur in the 5th and the early 6th centuries. If we look at the timeline of Middle Age Kings, the name King Arthur does not appear in the documentation.
He transformed the names of Geoffrey's charact... ... middle of paper ... ...hat it is the fact that nothing can be concluded that appeals to us and draws so many people into the enchantment of this legend. The room left for imagination is what made King Arthur and his knights immortal Websites: http://britannia.com/history/arthur/ -Britannia's website on King Arthur. Includes a timeline, an interview with Geoffrey Ashe, chronology, biography on characters, and much more. http://freespace.virgin.net/david.ford2/arthur.html -David Nash Ford s website on King Arthur. Includes a detailed research on the roots of the legend, along with speculations on the identity of the king.
King Arthur The Arthurian legends are well known in today's society. However, very few people know of the "real" Arthur -- who he was and what his accomplishments were. This paper will establish a difference between legend and truth, show evidence to support and explain who the real Arthur was, and shed some light on the sometimes confusing Arthurian legends. To establish any sort of idea that there was, in fact, a "real" Arthur, it is imperative to look over the legendary Arthur and his impact on different cultures. Arthur's beginnings are shrouded in mystery, though it is generally accepted that he is the bastard child of Uther Pendragon and Ygerna.