Arthur was the illegitimate son of King Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine, who was married to the Duke of Cornwall. After Arthur was born he was given to Merlin, a man believed to be a prophet, who cared for him and then gave him to Sir Ector. (Arthur 1) Merlin stayed in touch with Arthur as his tutor and also guided him throughout the rest of his life. (Arthurian 1-5) Arthur was raised alongside Ector's son, Sir Kay, but knew nothing of his royal ancestry. ( Ackerman, 757)
One day there was a tournament for the knights. Sir Kay had forgotten his sword and sent Arthur back to get it. Arthur did not know where the sword was but he did remember where a sword in a stone was located. Arthur went and pulled the sword out of the stone. He took this sword back to Sir Kay. When he returned with this sword all the knights recognized the sword in the stone. The knights did not believe Arthur had pulled the sword from the stone so they all went back and made him do it again. Legend stated that whoever removed the sword from the stone was supposed to be crowned ...
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...ing Arthur the group of men known as the Knights of the Round Table began to gradually get smaller until they were no more. This sad end to this group of men became known as the end of chivalry and the end of knighthood. (Ackerman. Round Table, 495)
The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table may be just that-a legend. But there are some facts that may prove some of these men actually lived, though not exactly the way they are described in the legend. There is no doubt that the Arthurian Legend still lives in the stories, poetry, and literature of the English and British culture and in many children's books. The books and poems tell about the highest ideals of chivalry, bravery and honesty; romantic qualities that legends are made of.
Perhaps there were, a long time ago, real men who took up these qualities and lived storybook lives.
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