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King Arthur Myth Essay, Research Paper

There has been a lot of material written about King Arthur and his court. He has

been a popular figure in literature for over 800 years. People believe he was

only a myth and some people believe he was an actual person. Not a lot of

information on King Arthur is fact; most is fictional from many types of

writers. The earliest reference of Arthur is the poem " Gododdin"

(A.D. 600) also "Historia Bitton" by Nennius (A.D.800). In Sir Thomas

Mallory’s Novel Le Morte D’Arthur, people receive a good idea on how he worked

and how the life back then was. Many stories have been written and tales have

been told of King Arthur but stories can’t be proven to be true. There are many

different versions and many different styles and languages written about King

Arthur. Welsh, Italian, Celtic, and Arabian, are just a few types of origins

from where Arthur has traveled. It is believed that Arthur was a fifth-century

British king also named Rithoamus (meaning high king)1. The historic Arthur

lived in the mists of the dark ages. From the encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends,

Arthur was not a medieval king. It is believed that he was a fifth century

chieftain who protected his people . Arthur changes from a God-like Celtic king,

to a monarch, to an ordinary man. There are many different opinions as of whom

King Arthur was. King Arthur appeared as a national hero in Geoffrey of

Monmouth’s book called Historia Regum Britanniea (meaning, History of The Kings

of Britain). Many of the legends told about Arthur and the round table take

place in the castle of Camelot. This is to be believed to have been Cadbury

Castle. This is near Somerset. There is no evidence that a little castle,

Camelot, existed. There is evidence; however, that there was a castle in the

large hill, inside the outer walls, believed to be Camelot. Arthur was a

wonderful leader and a terrific fighter. When fighting, Arthur based his

strategies on his hill forts, and mounted commando’s. It is said that Arthur

fought wars that gave him power over Britain, Ireland, and France. After he

gained control, he made his claim of the Roman Empire. Many of the wars he

fought were against the Saxons. Arthur was a great Calvaryman. Sir Thomas

Mallory’s Book, Le Morte D’ Arthur-, one of the worlds famous books about

Arthur, his court, and his life, is very important to young readers in all

different countries. This is a very important book, and contains immense details

on how life was back in those years. In The Book, Le Morte D’ Arthur, written By

Sir Thomas Mallory, tells the story of King Arthur. In this tale of King Arthur,

King Uther Pendragon is his father 2. King Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon died

while in his bed 3. Uther Pendragon died when Arthur was two years old. King

Arthur received his title, king, by pulling Excalibur out of the stone. People

in the country looked upon him as his king because he had the power to pull the

sword out. In Mallory’s book, Arthur is the great king of Britain. Arthur

conquers Rome and was the founder of the Knights of the Round Table. Many people

saw Arthur as a pure and flawless man, however, he commits incest and adultery

with his Queen Margause and conceives with her bastard Sir Modred, whom Arthur

tries to drown. King Arthur finally marries Gwynevere, who he later sentences to

death 4. He sentences her to burn because of adultery. Mallory’s Novel was one

of the greatest works published and a wonderful piece to read if one is

interested in learning more about Arthur and his court. Another important writer

was a Welsh writer, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who also wrote in detail about King

Arthur and his life. His piece of writing was called Historia Regum Britanniea,

(which means, History of the Kings of Britain). The two pieces of writing differ

in ways. Geoffrey was a Welsh cleric. It’s been suggested that Geoffrey took

"Arthur" as his last name because it was his father’s name. It may not

be going too far to believe that Geoffrey’s fascination with the ancient Celtic

hero Arthur may have begun when he was a child, hearing the tales his father may

have told him about his name 2. "My name is Arthur," his father may

have said, "and I want to tell you about another man named Arthur who lived

long, long ago." So it was that Geoffrey of Monmouth who wrote his book,

", History of the Kings of Britain " incorporating parts of an earlier

work of his. While it’s certain that Geoffrey had his sources, this ancient book

has identified as being true, and may never have existed. In Geoffrey’s work,

the story of King Arthur takes up only about a fifth of the book. Geoffrey

begins Arthur’s reign by pitting him against the Saxons. "Saxon" or

"Anglo-Saxon" is the collective name for these invaders of German

blood, who came from Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. In the middle of

the fifth-century, a British chieftain named Vortigern sought help from the

Saxons in fighting off the Irish and Scottish. In Geoffrey’s

"History," he is elevated to being a king, the brother of Arthur’s

father Uther Pendragon who was also a king. Probably around the year 490, the

name of another great general begins to be whispered: Artorius. Today we know

the name as Arthur. Geoffrey’s Arthur was an empire builder, though a failed

one. Although the "History of the Kings of Britain" can no longer be

treated as pure history, it is still one of the most important books of the

Middle Ages. The King Arthur Geoffrey wrote about, isn’t exactly the Arthur we

know today. In " The History of the Kings of Britain " there is no

round table, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. Queen Guinevere is known as

Ganhumara, and the sword Excalibur is known by the earlier name of Caliber. The

works by Geoffrey and Mallory differ for many reasons. In Geoffrey’s novel,

there are different characters and different names for characters. Also in

Geoffrey’s novel, the story is based on the father of the writer knowing Arthur.

There are many differences but that doesn’t mean that either novel is wrong in

it’s content. Neither of these stories can be proven true. Either book is as

equally as enjoyable as the other is. Both writers use great detail and

description of the character as well as their atmosphere. Geoffrey of Monmouth

and Sir Thomas Mallory are two of the most widely known writers who wrote about

King Arthur’s adventures, his losses, his triumphs and his loves. The legend of

Arthur is a wide topic to discuss. There are many types of writers from all over

the world. Many believe he lived and many people believe he didn’t live. Like

all legends, the legend of King Arthur remains still a mystery after many, many

years. One’s imagination can decide if there really was such a great, and noble

Celtic king. Mallory and Geoffrey best describe King Arthur and his people in

each of their pieces of writings. If a person such as Arthur lived a long time

ago, the countries had great control because of King Arthur’s capability to

fight, conquer, and keep the faith of his people. Then and now King Arthur was

and still is a popular figure in literature all over the world.

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