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King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table: Fact Or Fiction

2785 words - 12 pages

The typical romantic knight consists of a charming man sitting upon his noble steed dressed in shining armor and chain mail. It was during the Victorian Era when literature about knights greatly increased in popularity. All throughout England, restrictions were placed on writings and literature (O’Gorman 2000). Authors took to writing about knights to express their thoughts and feelings and to discuss controversies openly and without breaking the law. The more renowned knights are the knights that sat at the round table. The stories about the Knights of the Round Table are known for their dauntless adventures and scandalous romances. There are many stories that have been written on the topic of the Knights of the Round Table, but the tale “Le Morte d’Arthur” is an epic consisting of twenty-one books and five hundred and six chapters (Plot Summary: Le Morte d’Arthur 1997) of the Knights adventures. The Knights of the Round Table are a part of history that has lived on through centuries in literature and they have impacted the world in such a way that they can never be forgotten.
Though the Knights of the Round Table are courageous romantics, the journey to becoming a real knight is not so. A long and prestigious process had to be completed before a boy could become a knight. Children knew that a noble boy must pass through long years of training before ever becoming a knight. The training began usually around the age of seven. Noble fathers often did not raise their own children. Instead the child was sent off for his education and training to the castle of some lord of higher rank or greater reputation, sometimes to the court of a king. It was not always the Father’s choice to send away his son, however. The higher ranking lords and kings would sometimes demand that the boys be sent to them-- especially in times of bloodshed. The boy was trained to say his prayers and have high respect for the Church and religion. The name for a young boy in training was referred to as a page. The next step in knight training was becoming a squire. The boy grew older and stronger and therefore, more service was required of him. Each squire becomes the closest attendant of his lord. King Arthur was Squire to Sir Kay when Arthur pulled the Excalibur from the stone in the story “Le Morte d'Arthur” (Tappan 1911).
The Excalibur is the most powerful sword in all of the Arthurian legends. Swords were common weapons that were used among knights. Along with swords, lances were also the primary weapons of true knights. As weapons got more powerful, strong armor was needed. The development of armor had a huge impact on the way the knights battled. Every knight was issued a helmet to prevent beheadings. Armor for the knight’s torso adapted the most over the years. The first torso armor for knights was a short tunic called a hauberk (Tappan 1911). The hauberk was leather, but it later evolved into a sort of chainmail. As weapons developed, the armor also had to develop....

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