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Arthurian Legends Essay

1119 words - 5 pages

Whoever pulls out this sword from this stone will be crowned king, born of all Brytaygne (Mallory, The Crowning Arthur 4). Arthurian legends are set in the 12th century. 12th century Britain was a very poor country, and was constantly at war with the surrounding areas. At this time King Uther was at power. He loved a woman named Igraine who was married to the Duke of Tintagil of Cornwall. King Uther disguised himself as the duke and then had a child with Igraine. That child was Arthur. Thus came the legend of Arthur. There are three stories that are important to the theme are, The Crowning of Arthur, by Sir Thomas Mallory, Arthur Becomes King, written by T.H. White, and Sir Launcelot du Lake, authored by Sir Thomas Mallory. Mallory and White use a plot involving a quest to show that trusting and staying true to oneself to accomplish something for the good of others, will lead to success, happiness, and good fortune.
In Mallory’s The Crowning of Arthur, King Uther, Sir Ulfius, and Merlin, go on a quest to Tintagil, on a mission to make Lady Igraine fall in love with the King. Merlin, who is a prophet, devised a method to make Igraine believe that her husband, who was at war, had come home early. The plan worked for the most part. It was discovered that a few hours before Uther and his friends had arrived, the real duke had been killed. Igraine was disrupted by the happenings of the day but confided in no one. She ended up marrying Uther, and together they had a baby boy, named Arthur. Arthur was raised outside of the castle, because of a promise made between Merlin and Uther, that stated Merlin could have the child that they bear and raise him. When King Uther had passed away, Arthur was still too young to claim the throne, and he didn’t know of his real family and life. A large stone appeared in front of the church around the time of Uther’s death, this particular stone had a beautiful sword nested in the middle. According to a sign near the stone, whoever could uproot the sword would become king (Mallory, The Crowning of Arthur 4). Rich men and nobles attempted to pull out the sword day after day to no avail. Instead of fighting like savages for the throne, the people of Camelot organized a tournament for all men who wanted to be king. The quest that the King went on to take Igraine’s hand in marriage lead to a halt in the strife for the throne. Without the fighting the kingdom was back on track for success and good fortune.
Arthur Becomes King by T.H. White describes the mission that Arthur goes on to become King of Camelot. Arthur was raised by a poor family on Pie Street. His brother, Sir Kay was enrolled in the tournament for the throne. On the day of the tourney the family of Sir Kay ventured to the field to watch. Sir Kay forgot his sword at the house and sent Arthur to retrieve it. This is the journey that will lead to the eventual Crowning of King Arthur. When Arthur arrived at the house, he found it locked, therefore unable to fetch...

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