Who was King Arthur? Most people would tell of a great King; a devoted circle of heroic knights; mighty castles and mightier deeds; a time of chivalry and courtly love; of Lancelot and Guinevere; of triumph and death. Historians and archaeologists, especially Leslie Alcock, point to shadowy evidence of a man who is not a king, but a commander of an army, who lived during the late fifth to early sixth century who may perhaps be the basis for Arthur. 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?
Attempts at pinning down Camelot have also proved fruitless. Wood describes the difficulty in locating Camelot, saying, "A late local tradition connected Arthur with a hill fort, and when the Camelot Research Committ dug there, they caused a sensation…The Excavators did not, in fact find Camelot, nor was anything turned up to connect the place specifically with King Arthur" (51). This serves to...
... middle of paper ...
...s an Vortigern, probably the same one who exists in Geoffrey of Monmouth's account of Britain. According to Alcock, Vortigern "ruled with a group of consiliarii like a Roman -- or for that matter, a Visigothic -- provincial governor" (357). If there was a Vortigern, it is possible to imagine that there may be a chance that Arthur was a king --- after all, he was related to Vortigern, and Vortigern was, by Alcock's definition, royalty.
Who was King Arthur? Most people would tell of a great King; however, historians and archaeologists, especially Leslie Alcock, point to shadowy evidence of a man who is not a king, but a commander of an army. 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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Arthur’s Reasons Concerning War Since the beginning of time, the chaotic and barbaric fighting called war has been and will happen until the end of the world, that is, unless mankind smartens up. As T.H. White puts it on pages 631-632,“They were always saying that the present one (war) was to be the last, and afterwards there was to be a heaven. They were always to rebuild such a new world as never was seen. When the time came, however, they were too stupid.” At the beginning of Arthur’s reign he dealt with psychotic men such as King Lot that waged wars for pure sport.... [tags: essays research papers]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- What starts out as a story meant to intrigue its audience soon evolves into a true legend known throughout the world reaching almost every inch and crevasse in sight. The tale of King Arthur Pendragon is one that sees many forms, nevertheless still stays true to certain aspects of its origin. We seek to explain Arthur’s history in books, in voice and, in the contemporary world, through films. Although some tell a story, it is interesting to also learn the recorded history and parallels found throughout each that cause Arthur Pendragon and his Knights of the Round Table to be such unique aspects to look at.... [tags: King Arthur, Holy Grail, Lancelot]
703 words (2 pages)
- People all around the world have experienced a tumultuous period in their life. The legend of King Arthur helps people connect to something outside of themselves during these rough patches. The different stories of King Arthur are very relatable to people of different backgrounds and cultures. The legend of King Arthur has withstood the tests of time because of the connection it has to people of different backgrounds, cultures, and time periods. The history of the legend provides a detailed past to Britain, as well as the rest of the world and has captured the attention of readers for centuries.... [tags: King Arthur, Holy Grail, Le Morte d'Arthur]
1370 words (3.9 pages)
- By the ninth century people all over were telling the fabulous tales and romances about Arthur and his kingdom. The common people heard them sung by bards, while in the court poets wrote different versions. In each retelling the speaker would select certain details for emphasis and introduce new elements, so that the story could be adapted to the particular time and audience. Although most historians believe that there actually did exist an Arthur, they differ on how major his role was on influencing society during his time.... [tags: History King Arthur Essays]
2265 words (6.5 pages)
- King Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory the feast of Pentacost all manner of men assayed to pull at the sword that wold assay, but none might prevail but Arthur, and he pulled it afore all the lords and commons that were there, wherefore all the commons cried at once, 'We will have Arthur unto our king; we will put him no more in delay, for we all see that it is God's will that he shall be our king, and who that holdeth against it, we will slay him'. And therewith they all kneeled at once, both rich and poor, and cried Arthur mercy because they had delayed him so long.... [tags: King Arthur Malory Essays Papers]
1036 words (3 pages)
- Freewill and Determinism Every morning has its routine: alarm goes off, roll out of bed, shower, makeup, brush teeth, and get to class. But do these things happen because that’s what we choose our routine to be. Are we choosing to do these things on our own accord, or are they already predetermined. What is “freewill,” and does it truly exist. These are the questions that philosophers have delved into for centuries, all coming up with different ideas and limitations of “freewill.” AJ Ayer’s concept of compatibilism conflicts with d’Holbach’s idea of hard determinism, and the comparison makes for an interesting debate.... [tags: Free will, Determinism, Causality, Libertarianism]
1074 words (3.1 pages)
- Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as a Dystopian Work For years, Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" has been primarily viewed as a work of simple satire. Twain, desiring to poke fun at a group of America's cultural critics, chief among them Matthew Arnold, who claimed that cultural life in the U.S. treaded on shallow soil, takes aim at the venerated institutions of Britain. The author attempts to show that his country's lack of romanticized social structures, meaning an absence of royalty, the Catholic church, and long-dead knights and princesses, was far from a cultural weakness.... [tags: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court]
1395 words (4 pages)
- Importance of Honor in Sir Thomas Malory’s King Arthur and his Knights For centuries, the Arthurian legend has captivated an untold number of readers. What is it about Camelot that draws us into its complex code of chivalry and amusingly brute anecdotes. Human nature, as one can surmise from antiquated literature, has still not changed in the least—we still experience the boons and pitfalls of love, joy, envy, lust and sorrow. This certainly explains why the tantrums of Malory’s jealous Queen Guinevere strike chords of familiarity and even evoke an empathetic chuckle.... [tags: King Arthur Knights Essays]
1784 words (5.1 pages)
- Comparing King Arthur and With Honors Have you ever watched a movie or read a novel without a plot. Most likely your answer to this question would be no, because it would be dull. No one wants to hear a story with no intrigue or conflict. As you read a novel or watch a film, you want to connect with the characters and feel you can relate to the situations they’re dealing with. In every film and every story there’s a conflict the main character(s) is facing. The story of King Arthur, and the film With Honors appear at first to be on opposite sides of the entertainment spectrum.... [tags: Movies Film With Honors King Arthur Essays]
662 words (1.9 pages)
- King Arthur Character Analysis The character of King Arthur is unique in literature. Most characters are known through their actions and words as described by the author of a story. Arthur, however, is a conglomerate of characters described by many different authors over a fifteen hundred year span. There is no single depiction of him, and one cannot trace his origin to a single author for the "definitive" description. As such, the character of Arthur is different depending on the era, culture, and the particular writer who is relating his version of the Arthurian legend.... [tags: King Arthur Essays]
1424 words (4.1 pages)