King Arthur Essay Free

Essay/Term paper: King arthur and the knights of the round table: an epic hero for modern times

Essay, term paper, research paper:  British Literature

See all college papers and term papers on British Literature

Need a different (custom) essay on British Literature? Buy a custom essay on British Literature

Need a custom research paper on British Literature? Click here to buy a custom term paper.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: An Epic Hero for Modern Times

In about 1470, Thomas Malory finished Morte d' Arthur, the first of the
many legends written about King Arthur. Even in modern times, King Arthur and
the Knights of the Round Table are a favorite subject in movies, books, and
plays. Often times this is so because the Medieval Period in general, and King
Arthur in particular, have an air of mystery, romance, fantasy, and adventure
that are popular themes in all times and cultures. I compared Malory's Morte d'
Arthur with Camelot, a movie produced in 1967 that stars Richard Harris as King
Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere.
Camelot covers the period in Arthur's life from when he meets his future
wife Guenevere to the beginning of his siege against Sir Lancelot's castle in
France. The short excerpt of Morte d' Arthur tells of how King Arthur abandons
his assault on Lancelot to defend Camelot and all of England from Mordred.
Because Camelot seems to immediately precede Morte d' Arthur and there is no
overlap in the story, the way the plot is handled in each work cannot be debated.
I will however, discuss the mood, tone, and characterization of a few key
figures in the two works.
One difference in character that I found was that in the introduction
to Morte d' Arthur, Mordred is referred to as King Arthurs nephew. Later in the
text, when Arthur and Mordred are fighting (p. 96, para.1) it says, ". . . so he
smote his father King Arthur with his sword holden in both hands, upon the side
of the head . . ." In Camelot, Mordred is Arthur's illegitimate son, although
he keeps this a secret. This possibly explains the contradiction of Mordred's
position in the two pieces. Another difference in the two works was that in
Camelot, Mordred tells Arthur, "I despise the sword, loathe the spear, and I
detest horses." Yet in Morte d' Arthur Mordred and Arthur fight and before
Arthur kills him, Mordred wounds Arthur badly. In Malory's work, I got the
feeling that Mordred was a big, burly, knight that loved a good fight. Yet in
Camelot, Mordred is a devilish-looking, puny, scheming, young man who turns
down Arthur's offer of knighthood because he's just not "that type." Mordred
turns the knights against each other which destroys the Round Table and brings
King Arthur's entire world crashing down around his ears.
The mood and tone of Camelot and Morte d' Arthur are very different in
most parts. The majority of Camelot is cheerful, bright, and hopeful as Arthur
creates a new society of "might for right." Only towards the end of the movie
when the viewer is overcome with a sense of sadness and impending catastrophe
does the mood change to one of fatalistic tragedy. One cannot help but wonder
about the part that fate played in the society where the legends of King Arthur
were created. Like Romeo and Juliet, written about 120 years after Morte d'
Arthur, which is filled with references to "starcrossed lovers," Camelot and
Morte d' Arthur could be examined from the standpoint of fate in regards to
character actions. Had Lancelot not decided to come to Camelot to join the
Round Table, and Mordred had never been told that Arthur was his father, Camelot
may have never been destroyed.
The excerpt of Morte d' Arthur is a more mysterious, magical, and
perhaps realistic view of the Medieval period than Camelot. However, both works
provide a glimpse back into the world of one of the favorite "epic heroes" of
modern times.


Other sample model essays:

Literary Essays / Their Eyes Were Watching God: An Epic Search

Their Eyes Were Watching God: An Epic Search In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston shows how the lives of American women changed in the early 20th century. Zora Nea...

Oedipus / Tragedy In Oedipus Rex

Tragedy in Oedipus Rex The Greek drama Oedipus Rex is clearly a tragedy. It definitely meets the five main criteria for a tragedy: a tragic hero of noble birth, a tragic flaw, a fall fro...

Argumentative Essays / An Example Of Good Writing: Zinsser's "Simplicity"

An Example Of Good Writing: Zinsser's "Simplicity" Zinsser's essay on Simplicity is an example of good writing for many reasons. The main topic in his essay is clutter. Throughout the ess...

Literary Essays / Animal Rights

Animal Rights Many people feel that animals have no rights and are here solely for our use. Humans are animals too, we shouldn't take advantage of other animals just because they can't r...

George Orwell / Animal Farm

Animal Farm Eric Blair- Blair was born in Bengal in 1903, educated at Eton, and after working for the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, returned to Europe and started writing novels and es...

George Orwell / Animal Farm: Utopia

Animal Farm: Utopia The definition of Utopia is "no place." A Utopia is an ideal society in which the social, political, and economic evils afflicting human kind have been wiped ou...

George Orwell / Summary Of Orwells' Animal Farm

Summary of Orwells' Animal Farm In the beginning of Orewell's novel the animals rebel against the "Manor Farm" they take it over, and drive the humans off of the farm. In doing this the ...

Argumentative Essays / Difficulty In Making An Important Decision

Difficulty In Making An Important Decision Assignment: Describe a particular time in your life when you had difficulty making an important decision. During the course of our lifetimes we m...

George Orwell / Orwell's Animal Farm: Summary Of Characters

Orwell's Animal Farm: Summary of Characters Stalin's five-year plan was made to upgrade Russia and bring it current with the rest of the world within a five-year period. In Orwell's...

King Arthur Essay

1428 Words6 Pages

King Arthur

Character Analysis

The character of King Arthur is unique in literature. Most characters are known through their actions and words as described by the author of a story. Arthur, however, is a conglomerate of characters described by many different authors over a fifteen hundred year span. There is no single depiction of him, and one cannot trace his origin to a single author for the "definitive" description. As such, the character of Arthur is different depending on the era, culture, and the particular writer who is relating his version of the Arthurian legend.

Three Kinds of Arthur

There is much debate whether Arthur was an actual historical person. There is no absolute evidence, but it is possible that Arthur…show more content…

Here we see Arthur as a kind of Beowulf: a fearless leader of men, capable of legendary feats of strength and battle. This Arthur is practically a god; in fact, there is reason to believe that the figures of the Arthurian romances were originally Welsh gods (Americana).

Arthur as symbol of the virtues of Camelot

A second image of Arthur is that of a "peripheral figure whose presence is felt mainly as a social force or arbiter of chivalric excellence (Americana)." Epitomized by the story Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, Arthur is not the main character or source of action. He is the symbol of a wide abstraction: that of the courage, honor, honesty, and chivalry of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we still see Arthur as fearless warrior; he is the first to accept the Green Knight’s challenge and lay his life on the line to defend the honor of his court. But, in addition to his positive virtues, Arthur is also representative of the affluence and decadence of his court. There is perhaps a sense that Arthur and his court are too successful and have become enamored of fine food, drink, and women. It is this hubris, with Arthur as its highest symbol, that the Green Knight challenges. In this story, we also see the first indications that Arthur, through questionable descision-making, is capable of causing strife among the Knights of

Show More

0 Replies to “King Arthur Essay Free”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *