Essay on King Arthur: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction

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In today’s day and age, stories are traded all the time, and many times it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. However, when a story, approximately 1500 years old has been told and retold, and modified over and over again, the truth, if there is any, can be quite hard to find! This paper will take a look at both the fact and the fiction surrounding who King Arthur was, what he did, and the historical basis for the king. Before exploring the historical truths, it is important that some of the well-known tales, myths and legends are brought into the light. Many stories revolve around themes such as young Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone, the epic love/hate relationship between the wizards Merlin and Morgana, and the …show more content…
Two other characters, Merlin and Morgana, are often brought up when tales of King Arthur are being told. It was said that the wizard Merlin aided King Arthur in his reign as a young king of England; acting as a guardian and also a consultant. The rumors surrounding Morgana are many, but we can find some common themes which do not fail to illustrate her character.
First of all, Morgana was one of Arthur’s half-sisters, but hated him with a passion. There are numerous accounts of how she repeatedly tried to bring Arthur down and claim the power for herself. She was a fairy queen, a sorceress, and also a disciple of Merlin, which is where she learned about magic. There have also been rumors about a romantic relationship between the two, but there is no official account.
The first mention of Merlin appears in Historia Regum Britanniae written by Geoffrey of Monmouth around the year 1136. Morgana’s first mention is in Vita Merlini, written by the same author, just 14 years later. These texts, however were written almost 600 years after the characters are said to have existed, so their legitimacy is questionable. Possibly the most cherished tales, however, come from the legends of the gallant Knights of the Round Table. Folklore proclaims that once Arthur had become a man and fully established his kingdom in Camelot, he hand-picked the 12 most brave, loyal and skilled knights in England. These 13 mighty men formed a council, but unlike

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