Myths, Legends, and King Arthur Essay

Myths, Legends, and King Arthur Essay

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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. (New Standard M-86) He was an English author, compiler, and translator who was most known by his works on the Arthurian legends, and also the first great author of the English prose and epics. (Encarta, Malory) He was also a knight from Warwickshire who ended up serving time in the military on French soil under Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. He was knighted for his efforts sometime before 1442 and served in Parliament in 1445. After that he spent many years in imprisonment for political and municipal charges. He spent most of his last twenty years in prison. (CRC)

It was during this time that he wrote his version of the Arthurian Legends, basing most of his work on French and English originals in prose and verse. His version of the story was originally called The Book of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. It wasn't until after his death, when a man named William Caxton published his book in 1485 did it become known as Le morte d'Arthur. (New Standard M-86 & L-277)

In order to explain the book, I must first explain the story of King Arthur. I'll take you to the beginning of the tale with Arthur's father Uther Pendragon. The story in itself actually begins with Merlin, whi...


... middle of paper ...


...inter William Caxton arranged Malory's work into a single narrative in 1485. (Encarta Arthurian Legends)

I chose this story in truth because I was running out of ideas, and happened across it when I was looking up landmarks in London in my Encyclopedia. I had found a section for English literature on the way and stopped to take a look at it. The authors of the volume were nice enough to put examples of the stories in time periods. I found the time period I needed and found Sir Thomas Malory's tales of legendary soap operas. I also liked the idea because it was one of my favorite stories when I was growing up. How it represents the society that created this version of woes, happiness and Arthur, and our present society, is we all have evils that we must contend with and no matter what age you live in there is always a soap opera life waiting around the corner.

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