Arthur, King of the Britons, is a literary character known for creating a peaceful Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Some like to believe he is real, and for centuries historians and conspiracy theorists alike have been attempting to find relics of Arthur at places like Cadbury Hill and the Isle of Glass. Though Arthur cannot be proven because he is fictional, he is a very popular subject for authors and screenwriters. Books such as The Once and Future King by T. H. White have been renowned as classics by many, and there had been much popularity found in movies, TV shows, and musicals, such as the film Excalibur, BBC's Merlin, and Monty Python's Spamalot. The legend of King Arthur is a tale known and told by many. According to legend, around 500 A.D., Europe was in chaos and war for many years until one man pulled a sword out of a stone and created a land of peace.
In Quest For A King, Catherine M. Andronik states:
On a rocky seacoast in southwester England sands the ruins of a castle. Below the
steep cliff the waves crash and echo in the caves the water had carved out of solid
rock. The location is dramatic; the ideal birthplace for a person destined to
become subject of legends. The ruins of the cliff are supposed to be those of
Tintagel, where Arthur was born. (23)
Arthur's father, King Uther, originally made a deal with Merlin so that when Merlin granted him a son, the son would be taken by Merlin away from Camelot to be given whatever upbringing Merlin thought was proper (Arthurian 1). Merlin supposedly brought Arthur to be raised by Sir Ector, who had a son named Kay, but stayed there with Arthur and taught hm many skills: how to ride a horse, swim, shoot a bow, and even talk to animals. Merlin and Ector decide not to tell Arthur of his true heritage, so Arthur assumed he was Ector's son. When King Uther dies, Arthur is young, so Merlin still does not tell him he is the heir to the throne (Nardo 29). Years later, Merlin tells the archbishop of a sword in a stone. Whoever is to pull the sword is the rightful king. Many strong men attempted to pull the sword, but none succeeded. Then, when Sir Ector, Arthur, and Kay were going to Camelot so that Kay could be knighted, Kay left his sword at home. Arthur, being the kind and helpful person that he was, offered to run home and get it. When Arthur returned to their house in the forest, it was locked up and he could not go inside to get the sword. He turned around to go back and inform Kay of this, and on his way to Camelot, he passed a nice-looking sword in an anvil. He pulled the sword out of the stone with ease, and went to give it to his brother. Unlike Arthur, when Kay saw the sword, he knew exactly what it meant. Kay showed it to his father and said he had pulled it out of the anvil. Sir Ector did not believe him, and asked Arthur to put the back in the stone and pull it out again. Arthur did so, and did so again in the presence of the archbishop. ...