King Arthur Fact Or Fiction Essay Ideas

When the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters Friday, it will add the latest twist to a legend that’s been evolving for nearly a millennium. This version of the legend (starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law) pits King Arthur against his uncle, who seizes the crown until the famous episode in which young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and proves he is the rightful king.

It’s a fanciful tale and one that’s been told many times, but where does it come from?

Some people do believe that King Arthur could have been a real person, but despite the occasional news story about an archaeological discovery that may provide clues, experts on Arthurian legend tell TIME that there is no evidence — no primary source from the time — to confirm that King Arthur was ever a real person.

What is possible, however, is that Arthur is based on a real leader from the 5th or 6th century. One promising theory points to a person known as “Riothamus” — an honorific for “supreme king” — who crossed the English Channel to fight in France. That’s something that Arthur also does in early texts. “It may be the closest we will come to locating a specific model for Arthur,” according to Norris J. Lacy, a medievalist and former international president of the International Arthurian Society.

If an “Arthur-type” figure were alive around that time, then he was probably a military leader reacting to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, a very violent time and a setting ripe for the creation of a legend. “There was no centralized government, and British life was essentially tribal,” says Lacy. “Rulers would occupy an area, often a hill, that would be easy to defend. Local wars were frequent, with much hacking and ‘smiting.’ Life being as uncertain as it was, and with society torn by war, strife, and sometimes famine and disease, it is not surprising that people would latch onto stories of a benevolent king or warlord who is intent on peace and prosperity.”

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The first full “biographies” of Arthur don’t appear until the 12th century. Though they were sometimes styled as being based on a true story, they came out of a time when romance writing was all the rage, inspired by the rise of courtly love and chivalry.

The most famous accounts are Historyof the Kings of Britain, written in 1136 in Latin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who claimed to have been translating an ancient British book on the kings of Britain that had been lost. The legend really took off in the 15th century with the release of Le Morte d’Arthur, with which Thomas Malory helped popularize, for the English-speaking world, courtly love and the iconic image of Arthur being the only one who can pull the sword out of the stone.

“There were powerful women in the courts of England and France who were patronizing poets and writers, and they may have wanted certain type of stories” about courtly love, says Chris Snyder, an expert on Arthurian legend and dean of the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University.

On the other hand, no matter whether Arthur was a real person or not, the story’s mysterious origins add a level of intrigue that have helped keep the legend alive. “No one was keeping good records because they were trying to survive, and that’s one reason the legend became so popular,” says Dorsey Armstrong, professor of Medieval Literature at Purdue University and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Arthuriana. “Something amazing happened, but we don’t have details, so you’re free to use your imagination.”

88 results found, view free essays on page:

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    ... genes of King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table, among the most popular and beloved of all time, originated in the Middle Ages. As they do today, medieval people listened to the accounts of Arthur with fascination and awe. It is certain that popular folktales were told about a hero named Arthur throughout the Celtic parts of the British Isles and France, especially in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany (Lunt 76). Other stories of chivalry that did not include Arthur existed in ...
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  • Annales Cambriae King Arthur

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    From the very beginning of our literary heritage there have been legends of many heroes, kings and Gods. King Arthur is perhaps the best known and most enduring character of all of these legendary figures. This essay aims to explore one aspect of the legend, namely the death of King Arthur. There has been a lot of material written about the legendary King Arthur and although he has been a popular figure in literature for over 800 years, not a lot is known about the real Arthur. It is believed th...
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  • Code Of Chivalry King Arthur

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    Do you know anything about the Knights of the Round Table? This is about the chivalry of two knights from King Arthur's legends. This essay is to compare King Arthur and his son Mordred. According to me king Arthur is the most true to the code of chivalry. The first Knight I am going to tell you is not really a knight but a king, King Arthur. King Arthur is the opposite of his son Mordred. King Arthur was loyal to his country from beginning to end. One of the times that King Arthur showed chival...
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  • Code Of Chivalry King Arthur

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    Do you know anything about the Knights of the Round Table? This is about the chivalry of two knights from King Arthur's legends. This essay is to compare King Arthur and his son Mordred. According to me king Arthur is the most true to the code of chivalry. The first Knight I am going to tell you is not really a knight but a king, King Arthur. King Arthur is the opposite of his son Mordred. King Arthur was loyal to his country from beginning to end. One of the times that King Arthur showed chival...
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    The Epic of Gilgamesh has many similarities to The Legend of King Arthur. Although Gilgamesh and King Arthur have comparison they also have differences. The main difference is that one is an Epic and the other is a Legend. To compare and contrast The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Legend of King Arthur, one must first know what the words, "Epic" and "Legend" mean. Primarily, "epic" is a long narrative poem about the deeds of a semi-god, also known as a superhuman hero who's actions are depended on as...
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    The three heroes discussed here, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and King Arthur, are heroes for different reasons. Beowulf, our earliest hero, is brave but his motivation is different than then other two. To Sir Gawain personal honor and valor is what is important. King Arthur, Sir Gawain's uncle, is naturally the quintessential king of the medieval period. Though all men to a certain extent share the same qualities, some are more pronounced than in the others. It is important to see how these qualities ar...
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  • Death Of King Points Out To The Fact

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    Comparative Essay on the Styles of "The Death of King Arthur" and "Idylls of the King" 1) Introduction - The two texts, related to the Arthurian mythology, appear as not having much in common, if were to compare their informational properties. Idylls of the King is clearly a poetic piece, while The Death of King Arthur a fine example of medieval prose. Nevertheless, they do contain literary metaphors and symbolism. Back in Medieval times, the English language used to be more rich, from the lingu...
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  • King Arthur One Thing

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    Do you think women hold powerful positions in today? s society? Would you believe that women were powerful as long ago as the fifth and sixth centuries? BELIEVE IT! Niniane, The Lady of the Lake, was one of the most powerful and influential women in King Arthur? s court. She used her intelligence and beauty to place herself at the right hand of King Arthur himself. Niniane was an ambiguous woman who lived in the lake of the Celtic Otherworld. She was a determined lady who would let nothing stand...
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  • Lady Of The Lake Knights Of The Round Table

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    1. King Arthur is considered to be the High King of Britain and the son of Uther Pendragon. Merlin who became his chief advisor taught him. He became king at age 15 when Uther died in battle. King Arthur ruled over Camelot with his wife Guinevere. The lady of the Lake gave him the sword Excalibur. His wife and son Mordred betrayed him. Mordred fatally wounded Arthur. Three of the nine witches of Avalon brought him to Avalon. Two of those witches were Morgan La Fay and The Lady of the Lake. They ...
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  • Sir Thomas Malory Annales Cambriae

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    King Arthurs Death in Literature From the very beginning of our literary heritage there have been legends of many heroes, kings and Gods. King Arthur is perhaps the best known and most enduring character of all of these legendary figures. This essay aims to explore one aspect of the legend, namely the death of King Arthur. There has been a lot of material written about the legendary King Arthur and although he has been a popular figure in literature for over 800 years, not a lot is known about t...
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    The Legend of King Arthur The Origins and Different Interpretations of the Legend Today There are countless versions of the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. Most English versions are based on Sir Thomas Malorys Le Morte d Arthur, but where did these tales originate, and what different interpretations are there today? This essay seeks to examine the roots and different renditions of the various legends circulating today. The first section deals with the origins of the leg...
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  • Knights Of The Round Table King Arthur

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    King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table By Howard Pyle The book King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, was written by a scholar named Howard Pyle in the late 1800 s. Mr. Pyle spent seven years researching all the existing information about King Arthur. He rewrote them into four volumes and created this wonderful fantasy. When King Arthur was born, his father was very sick. King Arthur s father told Merlin to bring his son somewhere safe until it was time for him to step up to the...
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  • Late Nineteenth Century King Arthurs Court

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    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court Hank Morgan, a Connecticut Yankee working in a munitions factory near Hartford, is tapped on the head by a crowbar during a quarrel with a fellow worker. He awakens in the early part of the sixth century, A. D. Captured by the knight Sir Kay, he is taken to Camelot, King Arthurs court, where the knights of the realm gather around the Table Round. The Yankee is amazed to here each knight exaggerate the tale of his own exploits in his quest for the Holy G...
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  • Billy The Kid King Arthur

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    If the name of King Arthur is mentioned, I suppose what comes to mind is not so much one person as a whole array of characters and themes, a montage so to speak. Of course we do think first of the King, the magnificent monarch of a glorified or idealized medieval realm. But we think also of his Queen, of the fair and wayward Guinevere, we think of his enchanter, Merlin, who presided over his birth, who set him on the throne, who established him there in the early and travelled days of his reign....
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  • Arthurian Legends Middle Ages

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    King Arthur The legends of King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table, among the most popular and beloved of all time, originated in the Middle Ages. As they do today, medieval people listened to the accounts of Arthur with fascination and awe. It is certain that popular folktales were told about a hero named Arthur throughout the Celtic parts of the British Isles and France, especially in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany (Lunt 76). Other stories of chivalry that did not include Arth...
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  • Legend Of King Arthur Knights Of The Round Table

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    Todd King Arthur Knight 1 Todd Knight Mrs. Jill Doggett CP English 12 March 13, 2000 King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a story mixed with historical truths and exaggerated fiction. The legend of King Arthur, known as the Arthurian Legend, comes from the Middle Ages and is both fact and fiction. There really was a King Arthur who was king of the Britons. He was a type of military leader who fought Germanic invaders. Many...
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  • Geoffrey Of Monmouth Uther Pendragon

    1,271 words

    There has been a lot of material written about King Arthur and his court. He has been a popular figure in literature for over 800 years. People believe he was only a myth and some people believe he was an actual person. Not a lot of information on King Arthur is fact; most is fictional from many types of writers. The earliest reference of Arthur is the poem " Gododdin" (A. D. 600) also " Historia Button" by Nennius (A. D. 800). In Sir Thomas Mallory's Novel Le Morte Arthur, p...
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  • Sir Thomas Malory T H White

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    Versions Of King Arthur In The Once and Future King by T. H White and? Le Morte d? Arthur? by Sir Thomas Malory, the author? s writing techniques vary. King Arthur and the other characters involved in his life are portrayed differently by the two authors in the different books because of the differences in the techniques. In T. H. White? s The Once and Future King, White displays a modern writing style and language. White wrote a rather humorous story of King Arthur and all of the characters inv...
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