Myths, Legends, and King Arthur Essay

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Myths, Legends, and King Arthur

Throughout the dawns of time, people have recorded lives and made histories about the past, the people and all of their dramatics. One such story is Le morte d'Arthur, or in English, the Death of Arthur. Despite its French title, the actual text was written in English. It is a twenty-one book series written by Sir Thomas Malory in 1469-1470 describing in detail the problematic lives of the Arthurian legends.

Sir Thomas Malory was believed to be born in 1408, but no one really knows for sure. (New Standard M-86) He was an English author, compiler, and translator who was most known by his works on the Arthurian legends, and also the first great author of the English prose and epics. (Encarta,
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At one point King Uther invited the Duke of Cornwall and his wife Ygraine for a personal audience. After viewing Ygraine Uther fell in love, or as most would call it, lust. So he made a deal with Merlin to change his outward appearance to look the image of the Duke of Cornwall. Cornwall himself was killed in battle. Shortly therein, Uther seduced Ygraine and conceived a child, Arthur. The deal with Merlin was to give him the child so that he may raise it and tutor it. Soon after the conception, Uther and Ygraine marry.

Merlin and Arthur

After Merlin receives the child, he then takes him to Hector, or Antor, who raises Arthur with his son Kay. It is there where Antor begins to train Arthur as a squire for his son Kay, as he was training Kay for the knighthood. Not unlike the Disney version of the tale, with of course a few slight differences.

Like all things mortal, Uther eventually dies and leaves England without a king so a person must be chosen to represent the sovereign unity. Here is where one of the differences between stories lie; but nearly all the tales rely on the usage of the sword in the stone. According to the myth, Merlin had proclaimed that there was to be a test; a test in which whoever could pull the sword from the stone would be the next and true ruler of the land. Many tried and many failed. It wasn't until by a whim of fate that Arthur managed to pull the sword from the
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