King Arthur

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The stories and legends surrounding the character of King Arthur are among

the best known of all stories about kings and knights.

The stories and legends surrounding the character of King Arthur are

among the best known of all stories about kings and knights. He is the

greatest of British literary heroes, although little is known about

the real person. Folklore and literature provide examples of a

recurrent myth about a leader or hero who has not really died, but is

asleep somewhere or in some estate of suspended life who will return

to save his people (Geocities 3). There is little real historical

information left about him other than, texts, chronicles, verses,

myths, and fragments of epic poems, inscriptions, symbols and graven

images. Although these writings can be interesting literature, they

lack the factual evidence and they are obscure in details. It is not

even possible to say that a real King Arthur even existed, for the

records of his existence go back to the fifth, sixth and seventh

centuries AD, when the Welsh and English kingdoms which were to

replace Roman government were only beginning (Green 1).

Most of the stories involving King Arthur are primarily fiction;

however, there remains the possibility that a character called Arthur

may have actually existed. 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)." There is still a great

deal of speculation about the possible whereabouts of Camelot, if it

even existed at all. Sir Thomas Malory in Morte D'Arthur identifies

Winchester as the site in a work written around the fifteenth century.

The origins of King Arthur come to the conclusion that there is no

reason to believe that the concept of Arthur as a warrior is anything

other than a secondary deve...

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...t the stories that are created about King Arthur are,

for the most part, enjoyable and enticing. Many English poets and

writers, such as Edmund Spenser, John Milton, Walter Scott, Alfred

Tennyson, and William Morris used Malory's book about King Arthur as a

source for their own writing and Richard Wagner based some of his

operas on Arthurian tales. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round

Table are not forgotten even today. As of today, there are many films

that can be traced to have an Arthurian theme.

Works Cited


-Ashe, G. 1986: The Arthurian Encyclopedia (New York) Pages 76-78.

-Bromwich, R. 1983: Celtic Elements in Arthurian Romance (Cambridge)

Pages 41-55

-Dumville, D.N. 1986: Arthurian Literature 6 (Cambridge) Pages 1-26.

-Geocities: A Man for the Ages-Arthur, King or Battle Commander/

-Green, T. 1999: Arthurian Characters/ www.users

-Jarman, A.O.H. 1983: The Legend of Arthur in the Middle Ages

(Cambridge) Pages. 99-112.

-Koch, J.T.1996: Medieval Arthurian Literature: A Guide to Recent

Research (New York) Pages 239-322.

-Abrams. 2000: Malory, T. 7th Century: Morte D'Arthur Pages 421-439
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