This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Arthurian Legend Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

Arthurian Legend

Even though the Arthur legend is hundreds of years old, our culture today is still fascinated with the idea of the Round Table and the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere. There are movies and books galore to read about the different takes on the legend of Arthur. However, it makes one wonder if our culture really understands the Arthurian legend. Especially in the movies the central idea of a literary work can be lost. Compared to Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur have movies lost sight of what the Arthurian legend tries to teach?

Le Morte d’Arthur has several different themes working within in for Hollywood to choose from. An easy one for moviemakers is the glorification of the hero. In Malory’s work it appears that he is glorifying Arthur but really his work is being very critical. Arthur is an interesting man, and Malory constructs his character to stand out. But he also gives Arthur flaws that inevitably bring about his demise.

Malory also makes Merlin an intriguing character. However, Merlin is very ominous. He tries to steer Arthur in the right direction but he is not entirely a positive character. His magic and his ability to see the future make Merlin someone to be wary of. Merlin may not be represented in the movies so mysteriously.

Another large part of the Arthurian legend is the theme of betrayal. Many movies do not cover how Arthur was conceived but in Le Morte d’Arthur, Malory discloses Arthur was conceived through betrayal. The betrayal theme continues when Lancelot and Guenevere start their romance. It is Lancelot and Guenvere’s betrayal that brings the downfall of the Round Table and Camelot.

The Round Table and the idea of unity are two more major themes. In much of the medieval literature unity among men is stressed and Le Morte d’Arthur is no exception. Malory imitates the same idea from Beowulf, that all men are brothers and should be united instead of divided. Unfortunately, the Round Table is destroyed by the above mentioned betrayal.

Another theme that is also borrowed from Beowulf is the idea of the sword representing destruction. The sword in the stone is what starts a great deal of the trouble. The sword is what continues to start such trouble. Merlin warns Arthur that the sword is better off in its sheath but Arthur does not listen. Instead, the sword is used to try to solve problems and ends up creating many more.

The last major theme was a common one during the time Malory was writing: courtly love. This theme is definitely something our culture has dwelled on. The idea of two lovers who cannot be together because of marriage is all too interesting for the culture that is also obsessed with soap operas. One could say that many more movies that do not even mention Arthur could be based on the Arthurian legend if they imitate courtly love. Any movie with a love triangle could be game. However, the key element of courtly love is that there must be a third party. If...

Find Another Essay On Arthurian Legend

The Depiction of Morgan Le Fay in Various Accounts of The Arthurian Legend

2753 words - 11 pages The Depiction of Morgan Le Fay in Various Accounts of The Arthurian Legend Morgaine speaks.... "In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen." So begins Marion Zimmer Bradley's account of the Arthurian legend, which places unusual emphasis on the character of Morgaine, otherwise known as Morgan Le Fay. But who exactly is Morgan and how does

Romantic Heroes in Arthurian Legends Essay

968 words - 4 pages Arthurian Legends Essay Intellectual, mysterious, extraordinary. The qualities of a romantic hero influence an Arthurian Legend. An Arthurian legend is the tale of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. Because these are pieces of Romantic literature, Arthurian Legends contain romantic heroes. The Crowning of Arthur, Arthur Becomes King, and Sir Launcelot du Lake are all Arthurian Legends that contain romantic heroes. The Crowning of

The Once and Future King

1801 words - 8 pages The Once and Future King, or King Arthur, is a legend that is, despite its age, known by all. Everyone has heard of King Arthur and his loyal knights that make up the Round Table, but the rest of the famous legend is less known. If asked about Arthur’s parentage or birthplace, most people would not know. How many people can name off Arthur’s knights? Everyone knows Arthur’s name, but the details are less defined. Arthurian legend has many parts

Arthur: Beyond The Legend

549 words - 2 pages Welsh triad, to be worse that the three "red ravagers" of the isles. Even in legend, Arthur was a great leader of war. In the historical reality, the perceptions of Cuneglasus may have be colored by the viewpoint of those with whom he made war, while the heroic and praising Arthurian legends grew up among the descendants of his own people. But what else do we have to indicate that Cuneglasus may have been a historical basis for Arthur? First

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

1322 words - 5 pages the reasoning and decisions that Arthur made from the perspective of the women involved. The Mists of Avalon is a twist on the Arthurian tales as told by the four women instrumental to the story: Gwynhefar, Arthur’s wife; Igraine, his mother; Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, High Priestess of Avalon; and Morgaine, his sister, lover, and heiress to Avalon. The story is told by each as they saw it happen. In this novel, the legend of King Arthur is for

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court vs. Le Morte D'Arthur

579 words - 2 pages Connecticut Yankee vs Le Morte DArthur King Arthur’s Britain, a vastly different Britain than we know today, is revealed through many timeless classics in literature. Two of these pieces of literature are Thomas Malory’s seriously toned Le Morte D’Arthur and Mark Twain’s satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. These works show distinctly different visions of the Arthurian legend. King Arthur’s Britain in Twains A

Arthurian Legends Effects on English Society

2553 words - 10 pages the conception of artistic intellect. Whether or not King Arthur truly existed, his influence dramatically changed the English society and English Literature to its current form (Arthurian Legends Vol. 1). The Arthurian Legend is seen to be extremely influential in benefitting the English people during the Romantic Era. Even if King Arthur is a fictional character of myth and legend in England, his childhood, countless glories and achievements

The Impact of King Arthur and the Chivalric Code

1011 words - 4 pages Table was added in 1155 A.D by a French poet Maistre Wace. Also between the years 1160 and 1180 another Frenchmen, Chretien de Troyes, added the themes of chivalry and courtly love. Then the quest for the Holy Grail was developed by Robert de Boron from Burgundy. (“How the Legend Developed”) The greatest contribution to the Arthurian Legend is credited to Sir Thomas Malory. He brought together all the different Arthurian stories and related

Arthurian Legends Effects on English Society

1216 words - 5 pages What role did the great King Arthur play in the way English Literature is perceived? The Arthurian Legends reveal King Arthur as a chivalrous king and not as a historical figure but as a myth of mass amounts of achievements. From his search of the Holy Grail, to his perfect society in Camelot and his development of the Round Table, King Arthur’s legend displayed his heroic character. Through the many countless legends of the glorious King

King Arthur

1436 words - 6 pages justice and peace prevail. In Celtic legends, Arthur is a supernatural hero who battles giants, monsters, and witches. He kills the Demon Cat of Losanne and hunts the boar Twrch Truyth driving him into the sea. (Camelot and Arthurian Legend: Arthur online 4/27/98) GRAPH Some literary work depicts Arthur as an ideal Christian hero and as among God's elect. Young Arthur is able to withdraw the sword from

The Real Merlin

2311 words - 9 pages repository of power (Morris 13). It is in this setting which most of the background of Merlin becomes public knowledge. Many stories of the Arthurian legend contain some reference to Merlin, as either a wizard or a prophet. As a magician, Merlin performed feats such as the moving of Stonehenge, the disguising of Uther Pendragon, and the crowning of King Arthur by the use of the sword in the stone (Fletcher 25). As a prophet, Merlin told of the defeat

Similar Essays

Arthurian Legend Essay

1050 words - 5 pages Nearly every boy or girl in America has heard of the Arthurian legend, which "concerns King Arthur of Briton, his realm, and the Knights of his inner circle."(Arthurian Legend) According to legend, King Arthur brought peace and happiness to his realm and was one of the greatest kings the world had ever known. Nonetheless, as great as he was, he was only a man and made a few mistakes. These mistakes eventually led to the downfall of his

Women In Beowulf And Arthurian Legend

1277 words - 5 pages Women in Beowulf and Arthurian Legend A common theme in the stories we have read is that glory, happiness, and success come in cycles (this theme is commonly represented as "the wheel of fortune"). This theme is present in the Arthurian tales, as well as in Beowulf. Each story tells a tale (or part of a tale) of a rise to glory, and the proceeding fall to disarray. The men always were the kings and warriors, but the women played different

The Sword In The Stone Of The Arthurian Legend

1756 words - 7 pages The Sword in the Stone of the Arthurian Legend King Arthur and the knights of the round table belong to a long line of books and stories of the Arthurian legend. Merlin, Lancelot, The lady of the lake, King Arthur, and Excaliber are all very important in the Arthurian legend. In this essay we will talk about King Arthur, the knights of the round table, and Merlin in the famous story, The sword in the stone.      The Sword in the stone

Romantic And Arranged Marriages In Arthurian Legend And Other Such Nonsense

740 words - 3 pages form of marriage…"(Software Toolworks Encyclopedia) , in my opinion, romantic marriages have the most advantages. For one thing the two partners tend to only want to kill each other sometimes, not every day. Not to mention that sometimes in arranged marriages the bride and groom don't even get to meet each other till during the wedding ceremony (which makes for a very 'interesting' honeymoon).The majority of marriages in Arthurian legend were