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

Comparison Of Two Films About King Arthur

3987 words - 16 pages

Few works of literature or legend are as varied as that of King Arthur and his round table, forever retold by each generation. Without question, the defining work of Arthurian Literature is Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Morte d'Arthur is a compilation of all the King Arthur legends that existed before Malory. Malory tried to bring all the stories together into one cohesive whole. Morte d'Arthur is a trove of stories about magical encounters and various quests that is loosely centered on the rise and fall of King Arthur.

Since it was written, there have been countless interpretations and adaptations. Today, we not only have countless Arthurian books, but many movies on the subject as well. In this paper I hope to compare and contrast two such Arthurian movies, Excalibur and King Arthur, and discuss what each film adds to the treasury of Arthurian lore. It is hard to believe that two completely opposite movies are based on the same literature. The movie Excalibur is like a modern day Morte d'Arthur, while the more recent King Arthur differs greatly from all former Arthurian works by attempting to be historically plausible.


Although Excalibur is based mostly on Malory, it also contains stories from Chrétien de Troyes and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King. The film takes scenes straight from Malory, but it also changes Malory slightly by condensing some of his many details and mixing them with stories from other Arthurian writers. It smoothes over many of Malorys contradictions then manages to throw in some plot twists of its own.


The first scene of the film introduces the most important symbol of the film, Excalibur. Throughout the entire movie at every critical juncture, Excalibur appears. The film begins and ends with Excalibur. The sword is the heart of England, the charge of the Lady of the Lake, the spirit who represents England. Whoever wields the sword, wields England. It is a symbol of the King's union with the land, the main point of the film. L'etat c'est moi, Arthur and the land are one.

In the film, the sword is first given to Uther, who then becomes King. Besides for this, the story of Uther and Igraine is straight out of Malory. Uther starts a war with the Duke of Cornwall because Uther so openly desires Cornwall's wife, Igraine. Merlin agrees to give Uther the semblance of Cornwall so Uther can sleep with Igraine. In exchange for this service, the baby that will come from the adulterous union will be given to Merlin. An addition of the film is that before Uther walks into the castle as Cornwall, little Morganna has a vision that her father has died. When Uther comes into the room where Morganna and Igraine are, Morganna knows who he really is. Later on in the story, little Morganna watches as Merlin takes baby Arthur away. These scenes work to develop the character of Morganna and explain why she becomes such a hateful creature

When Uther dies, he thrusts the sword into...

Find Another Essay On Comparison of Two Films About King Arthur

Comparison between Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King -- Pick two authors from the gothic portion of literature and compare/contrast them

691 words - 3 pages of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King can be shown in the pieces they wrote.Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King have similar beliefs and similar items that their stories are about. But Poe and King focus on death and evil in their writings. In Poe's short story "Masque of the Red Death", there is a plague that was bestowed upon the world, killing endless amounts of lives. Some, such as Prince Prospero, took in certain people, mainly their closest

Comparison of Two Essays About the Issue of Obesity

1442 words - 6 pages Within the city limits of Dallas, Texas, two different life scenarios are being lived out. On the outskirts of downtown Dallas, in what is often referred to as the ghetto, many adults and children struggle to receive their daily nutritional needs. Low-income families cannot always afford healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In order to obtain some nutrition and meet their daily calorie intake, they are forced to consume

the Tale of King Arthur

2536 words - 11 pages bishop of St. Asaph in Wales. Geoffrey of Monmouth is the main source where we get the legend of King Arthur. In 1135, Geoffrey wrote History of the King of Britain. Geoffrey wrote the story of Arthur in historical form. Geoffrey gave Arthur a story about his birth and also added in Merlin to the legend. Geoffrey was influenced by Wace and Layamon. He got information for his story from the following: Bede, Gildas, Nennius of Wales, Welsh chronicles

The Court of King Arthur

993 words - 4 pages and to many festivities. In fact, in an act of good faith, "Arthur would not eat until all were served." (Sir 85). In both tales, Arthur shows to be a very noble, generous, and giving king who cares about his people –– with the exception of the way he treats Lanval. Another similarity of court life present in both tales is the honesty of courtly men. Chivalry and honesty are large parts of a knight's code of honor. Both men hold

The Legend of King Arthur

878 words - 4 pages . The couple decided to name the child Arthur, and they loved him as much as they loved their own son Kay. Two years after Arthur was born, King Uther fell sick and died. The kingdom fell into state of disarray for the King had left no apparent heir. Merlin knew he had to reveal Arthur’s identity however it was not the right time yet. In the mean time Merlin tutored Arthur teaching him how to swing, ride a horse, shoot a bow and talk t the

The Return of King Arthur

2383 words - 10 pages Legend has it, when England is in the time of greatest need, King Arthur will return to prevail against the evil threatening the land once again. That time is now.All across the outstretched hills of the country of England, bodies can be viewed lying in bloodied, mangled positions. Even the strongest of stomachs can and will turn at this gruesome sight. No single army could have massacred as such. No joined forces would even have had power of

Comparison of two paintings

830 words - 3 pages Comparison of two paintings Paintings have been used to represent people since the beginning of the human race. Through time due to advancements in material and painting techniques combined with the ever-increasing talent of the artists, paintings representing people have become very lifelike and are extremely realistic. Some painted portraits have as much detail as modern photographs. However, there are also paintings of people that

Comparison of two Religions

978 words - 4 pages Comparison of two Religions Religion has been a practice of many cultures from the beginning of time. Research two different religions, and determine what the origins of the religions are. Find out what is similar, and what is different about the two religions, that you choose. Analyze the two different religions and discuss. Origin of Hinduism The origin of Hinduism is a mystery, because there is no founder for this religion. This religion

Comparison of two paintings

609 words - 2 pages Compare and Contrast two paintings.(Somnambulist Mall Walking and Golconda) Somnambulist Mall Walking and Golconda are two paintings that caught my eyes because of the composition and contents in the paintings. Somnambulist Mall Walking was painted in 1995 by Lynn Randolf and Golconda was done in 1953 by Margaritte. Eventhough there is a great difference in the length of time when these two paintings were done, there are some similarities and

Comparison of Two Authors

1139 words - 5 pages James Joyce and Franz Kafka are both highly revered writers from the twentieth century; written decades ago – Dubliners by James Joyce in 1914 and Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka in 1915 – their stories have been able to pass the test of time. Although having cultural differences – Dubliners being about life in Ireland and Metamorphosis being about life in Germany – both authors were still able to clearly depict the negativity of life: the family

It is about King Arthur and some history

1901 words - 8 pages possibility, although a faint one, that Geoffrey told the truth about the "certain very ancient book" he consulted for his facts. It is important to realize that if he did exist, the "real King Arthur" and the world in which he lived would bear very little resemblance to the legend we have come to know so well. Geoffrey of Monmouth was born sometime around 1100, perhaps in Monmouth in southeast Wales. His father was named Arthur. Geoffrey was

Similar Essays

A Comparison Of Two Extracts From Films Portraying Vampires

1186 words - 5 pages A Comparison of Two Extracts from Films Portraying Vampires In this essay I will compare two extracts from films portraying vampires. These extracts were taken from 'Nosferatu' a film made in the 1920's and 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' a film produced in the early 1990's. I will describe how the films are similar and are different in the media language used, the representations of the vampire and the woman and the narrative

A Comparison Of The Establishment Of Genre And Narrative In Two Crime Films

3734 words - 15 pages A Comparison of the Establishment of Genre and Narrative in Two Crime Films In this essay I will compare how genre and narrative are established in 2 crime films. The main iconography of this genre is fairly easy to identify; props such as guns, latex gloves, sirens, rain are used frequently in Hollywood crime films such as Se7en (1995). The conventions of this genre are also fairly easy to recognise: detectives with

A Comparison Of Two Gothic Horror Films, Sleepy Hollow And The Lost Boys

2563 words - 10 pages A Comparison of two Gothic Horror Films, Sleepy Hollow and The Lost Boys Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton) and The Lost Boys (Joel Schumacher) are fairly recent films, they both use specific camera shots to portray different characters, however, The Lost Boys, recorded in 1987 has fewer special effects than Sleepy Hollow, for at the time of the making of The Lost Boys, fewer facilities were available, compared to when Sleepy

A Comparison Of Two Film Trailers: Lord Of The Rings Return Of The King And The Gladiator

2373 words - 9 pages A Comparison of Two Film Trailers: Lord of the Rings Return of the King and The Gladiator In this coursework, I will be comparing two different film trailers, “Lord of the rings _ the return of the king” and the “Gladiator”. Film trailers are promos designed by the film industry to attract the viewer’s attention towards a specific film. They are usually compiled of interesting and short clips of the film, usually