Arthurian Legend - Essay

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Arthurian Legend, group of tales in several languages that concern the legendary King Arthur of the Britons, his realm, and the knights of his inner circle. The legend is one of the most enduring tales in recorded history. It first appeared in the 5th or 6th century ad and took its basic form between the 12th and 15th centuries. It continues as a popular subject in modern times.

The legend presents Arthur as a leader in ancient times who defeats the Saxons and other enemies. He thereby unites the people of Britain in peace and harmony. Eventually his kingdom weakens from within—in part because of the illicit love between Arthur’s queen, Guinevere, and the knight Lancelot—and Arthur himself is struck down by his own illegitimate son,
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As Arthur fathers an illegitimate son, so too does Lancelot, although he does so while under a spell that makes him think the woman (named Elaine) is actually Guinevere. Lancelot's son, Galahad, is entirely free of sin and weakness, and thus he alone is ultimately qualified to complete the quest and find the Holy Grail. (Sir Bors and Sir Percival accompany him, but they are excluded from the final holy vision that appears to Galahad as he reaches the Grail.)
Once the quest is ended, peace does not last, and eventually Arthur's armies are embroiled in new wars, including one with the Romans, who demand tribute from Arthur and provoke a battle. Not all the conflicts involve foreign enemies, however. When Arthur discovers Lancelot and Guinevere's love affair, his system of justice requires that Guinevere be arrested and condemned to death. Lancelot flees but then returns to rescue her. During the ensuing battle, Lancelot kills the brothers of Sir Gawain, who remain loyal to Arthur. As a consequence, Gawain and Lancelot, formerly the closest of friends, become enemies.
Arthur’s absence from court while battling the Romans and pursuing Lancelot offers Mordred the opportunity to seize the throne. He attempts to do so by buying the allegiance of Arthur's barons, and some texts say that he either
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