(Schlesinger 73). He created Arthur's court as a gathering place for nobles and courageous lords during the twelve year period of peace between the Saxons and Romans. Arthur's period of transition from reality to romance was long and complex. He was remembered as a hero by the Welsh bards who embellished and added to his legend in their own creative way. From Wales these tales traveled to Britain and France, where they became popular during the twelfth century through being spread by jogleurs and minstrels who wondered from castle to castle reciting Arthur's stories at feasts.
Many say that Geoffrey wrote Merlinís legendary Prophecy referring to twelfth-century politics of King Henry IIí court. Reality or legend, Merlin is still one of the most prominent and popular characters of Arthurian literature. Merlinís close relationship with King Arthur has led him to appear in a large majority of Arthurís stories. There is also dispute as to whether there was one Merlin or two- in the historical context. The archives of Wales claim that, in fact, there were two Merlins.
King Arthur If the name of King Arthur is mentioned, I suppose what comes to mind is not so much one person as a whole array of characters and themes, a montage so to speak. Of course we do think first of the King, the magnificent monarch of a glorified or idealized medieval realm. But we think also of his Queen, of the fair and wayward Guinevere, we think of his enchanter, Merlin, who presided over his birth, who set him on the throne, who established him there in the early and traveled days of his reign. There were the knights of the Round Table, vowed to the highest ideals of chivalry, and the greatest of them, Sir Lancelot, who, of course, has a tragic love affair with the Queen. There is another great love story, that of Tristan and Isolde, the theme of Wagner's Opera.
Myths, Legends, and King Arthur Throughout the dawns of time, people have recorded lives and made histories about the past, the people and all of their dramatics. One such story is Le morte d'Arthur, or in English, the Death of Arthur. Despite its French title, the actual text was written in English. It is a twenty-one book series written by Sir Thomas Malory in 1469-1470 describing in detail the problematic lives of the Arthurian legends. Sir Thomas Malory was believed to be born in 1408, but no one really knows for sure.
The legend of Arthur came from all different countries and time periods. The first account of Arthur came from Nennius of Wales. During the 800s, Nennius wrote History of the Britons. This book lists twelve battles that Arthur participated in. Nennius describes Arthur as a valiant hero It is said that Nennius’s stories of Arthur were based on old Welsh stories.
Perhaps very few people realize what a very great realm of the imagination the legends of King Arthur are, and how vast a literature it has become. During the Middle Ages, this was the great theme of creative writing in poetry and prose (Evans 137). Not only in England, but preeminently in France and Germany were there also romances of Arthur. In fact, they existed in every language of Christendom at the time (Lunt 121). This spirit was preserved in the re-workings of writers throughout history.
Then he accidentally kills Gareth and Gaheris, Gawain’s brother, and a war is started. Sir Mordred comes to gight Arthur and Gawain dies, writing a letter to Launcelot, forgiving him and begging him to come and help. The Last Battle- Gawain comes to Arthur in a dream and warns him to make peace with Mordred for a month until Launcelot comes. The men attack during during the treaty and Arthur kills Mordred, but receives a very bad wound and is taken away on a barge with Nimue and Morgana le Fay. Epilogue: Avalon- Sir Launcelot becomes a Frier and Guinevere becomes a nun.
Arthur forgave them and then, offering his sword at the high altar was dubbed first knight of the realm. (333) For such a climactic and honorable moment, Malory didn't use descriptive sentences to show the great king taking up the sword and the ruling of a great nation. Almost 500 years later, Mary Stewart will invent a way of telling the story through the eyes of a chief character, the wizard Merlin. With the use of Merlin's role and part in the legend, Stewart was able to help the reader feel depth and texture in the world of Arthur at the time of his coronation: Flames from the nine lamps, flaring then dying; flames licking up the stone of the altar; flames running along the blade of the sword until it glowed white hot. I (Merlin) stretched my hands out over the palms flat.
Early Celtic poems describe Merlin as a king and warrior (Braswell 111). Welsh writings place Merlin as a bard of some significance (Bruce 130). Merlin then appears in the Vita Merlini as a king who went crazy, Historia regum Britannae as a prophet who controls a kingdom, and Le Morte D'Arthur as Arthur's advisor and confidant. The first account of Merlin is with King Vortigern in History regum Britannae. As the character Ambrosius, Merlin tells Vortigern of the downfall of the Saxons by the Britons.
During this trip Norman writers maintain that he swore to support William's claim to the English throne. Yet when Edward died childless in January 1066, Harold was himself crowned king. Furious, William decided on war. He landed in England on 28th September, establishing a bridgehead near Hastings. Harold met him from Stamford Bridge, where he had just defeated Harald Hardraade.