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The Land of Arthur

Categoria: Referat Engleza

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King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends. He is said to be the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine of Cornwall. Arthur is a near mythic figure in Celtic stories such as Culhwch and Olwen. In early Latin chronicles he is presented as a military leader, the dux bellorum. In later romance he is presented as a king and emperor...

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King Arthur is the figure at the heart of the Arthurian legends. He is said to be the son of Uther Pendragon and Igraine of Cornwall. Arthur is a near mythic figure in Celtic stories such as Culhwch and Olwen. In early Latin chronicles he is presented as a military leader, the dux bellorum. In later romance he is presented as a king and emperor.
One of the questions that has occupied those interested in King Arthur is whether or not he is a historical figure. The debate has


The Enthroned Arthur, from Lancelot du Lac (French, early fourteenth century)

raged since the Renaissance when Arthur's historicity was vigorously defended, partly because the Tudor monarchs traced their lineage to Arthur and used that connection as a justification for their reign. Modern scholarship has generally assumed that there was some actual person at the heart of the legends, though not of course a king with a band of knights in shining armor--though O.J. Padel in "The Nature of Arthur" argues that "historical attributes of just the kind that we find attached to Arthur can be associated with a figure who was not historical to start with."
If there is a historical basis to the character, it is clear that he would have gained


 

fame as a warrior battling the Germanic invaders of the late fifth and early sixth centuries. Since there is no conclusive evidence for or against Arthur's historicity, the debate will continue. But what can not be denied is the influence of the figure of Arthur on literature, art, music, and society from the Middle Ages to the present. Though there have been numerous historical novels that try to put Arthur into a sixth-century setting, it is the legendary figure of the late Middle Ages who has most captured the imagination.
It is such a figure, the designer of an order of the best knights in the world, that figures in the major versions of the legend from Malory to Tennyson to T. H. White. Central to the myth is the downfall of Arthur's kingdom. It is undermined in the chronicle tradition by the treachery of Mordred. In the romance tradition that treachery is made possible because of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere.

 

Legendary Arthur

 


The Marriage of King Arthur and Guinevere.

Name.
The name Arthur may be (and according to K. H. Jackson certainly is) a form of Artorius, a Roman gens name, but, according to J. D. Bruce, it is possibly of Celtic origin, coming from artos viros (bear man) - see

Welsh arth gwyr (T. R. Davies). Bruce also suggests the possibility of a connection with Irish art (stone).

Life.
An outline of the hero's life is given by Geoffrey of Monmouth (twelfth century) in his Historia Regum Brittaniae - History of the Kings of Britain. Just how much of this life was Geoffrey's invention and how much was

 

culled from traditional material is uncertain. He tells us that King Arthur was the son of Uther and defeated the barbarians in a dozen battles. Subsequently, he conquered a wide empire and eventually went to war with the Romans. He returned home on learning that his nephew Mordred had raised the standard of rebellion and taken Guinevere, the queen. After landing, his final battle took place.
The saga built up over the centuries and Celtic traditions of Arthur reached the Continent via Brittany. Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur would become what many considered the standard 'history' of Arthur. In this, we are told of Arthur's conception when Uther approached Igraine who was made, by Merlin's sorcery, to resemble her husband. The child was given to Ector to be raised in secret. After Uther's death there was no king ruling all England. Merlin had placed a sword in a stone, saying that whoever drew it out would be king. Arthur did so and Merlin had him crowned. This led to a rebellion be eleven rulers which Arthur put down. He married Guinevere whose father gave him the Round Table as a dowry; it became the place where his knights sat, to avoid quarrels over precedence. A magnificent reign followed, Arthur's court becoming the focus for many heroes. In the war against the Romans, Arthur defeated the Emperor Lucius and became emperor himself. However, his most illustrious knight, Lancelot, became enamoured of Guinevere. The Quest for the Holy Grial began and Lancelot's intrigue with the Queen came to light.
Lancelot fled and Guinevere was sentenced to death. Lancelot rescued her and took her to him realm. This led Arthur to crossing the channel and making war on his former knight. While away from Britain, he left Mordred in charge. Mordred rebelled and Arthur returned to quell him. This led to Arthur's last battle on Salisbury Plain, where he slew Mordred, but was himself gravely wounded. Arthur was then carried off in a barge, saying he was heading for the vale of Avalon. Some said he never died, but would one day return. However, his grave was supposedly discovered at Glastonbury in the reign of Henry II (1154-89).

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Charge Given to the Knights by King Arthur
God make you a good man and fail not of beauty. The Round Table was founded in patience, humility, and meekness.Thou art never to do outrageousity, nor murder, and always to flee treason, by no means to be cruel, and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentle women succour. Also, to take no battles in a wrongful quarrel for no law nor for no world's goods.
Thous shouldst be for all ladies and fight for their quarrels, and ever be courteous and never refuse mercy to him that asketh mercy, for a knight that is courteous and kind and gentle has favor in every place. Thou shouldst never hold a lady or gentle woman against her will.
Thou must keep thy word to all and not be feeble of good believeth and faith. Right must be defended against might and distress must be protected. Thou must know good from evil and the vain glory of the world, because great pride and bobauce maketh great sorrow. Should anyone require ye of any quest so that it is not to thy shame, thou shouldst fulfil the desire.
Ever it is a worshipful knights deed to help another worshipful knight when he seeth him a great danger, for ever a worshipful man should loath to see a worshipful man shamed, for it is only he that is of no worship and who faireth with cowardice that shall never show gentelness or no manner of goodness where he seeth a man in any danger, but always a good man will do another man as he would have done to himself.
It should never be said that a small brother has injured or slain another brother. Thou shouldst not fail in these things: charity, abstinence and truth. No knight shall win worship but if he be of worship himself and of good living and that loveth God and dreadeth God then else he geteth no worship here be ever so hardly.
An envious knight shall never win worship for and envious man wants to win worship he shall be dishonoured twice therefore without any, and for this cause

 

all men of worship hate an envious man and will show him no favour.
 Do not, nor slay not, anything that will in any way dishonour the fair name of

Christian knighthood for only by stainless and honourable lives and not by prowess and courage shall the final goal be reached. Therefore be a good knight and so I pray to God so ye may be, and if ye be of prowess and of worthiness then ye shall be a Knight of the Table Round

 

 

The Emblem of the Knights


The emblem of the Knights of the Round Table worn round the necks of all the Knights was given to them by King Arthur as part of the ceremony of their being made a knight.
The Order's dominant idea was the love of God, men, and noble deeds.
The cross in the emblem was to remind them that they were to live pure and stainless lives, to stive after perfection and thus attain the Holy Grail. The Red Dragon of King Arthur represented their allegiance to the King. The Round Table was illustrative of the Eternity of God, the equality, unity, and comradeship of the Order, and singleness of purpose of all the Knights.

 

Land                                                        

 

At the heart of all of the Arthurian legend is the Land itself. To walk through the land is to feel the legends and history itself. Britain has two kinds of geography: the outer, visible one of hills, valleys, trees, rivers, and plants; and the inner, mysterious, myth-haunted one which consists of places that


are often no more than names, like Camelot, Camlan, the supposed site of Arthur's last battle, or Badon, the site of his greatest fight against the Saxons.

 

Rivers of ink have been spilled by various commentators in their efforts to identify these places, many of which have remained undiscovered for the simple reason that they were never a part of this world at all, but myth and legend. This is not to say that they never existed, only that the physical places ascribed to them are as often as not false.

 

Alderley Edge
Cheshire, England

According to a local tradition, in the ground below the great outcrop of sandstone, known


Above Alderley Edge is a bearded, weather-beaten face. Under it is written, Drink of this and take thy fill, for the water falls by the wizard's will.

as the Edge, there is a cave in which Arthur and his knights lie sleeping. The story goes that a farmer was on his way to market at the nearby town of Macclesfield when he was stopped by an old man who offered to buy the white horse he was planning to sell. Refusing the low offer, the farmer rode on. Despite much interest, no one bought the horse at the market. On the way back, the same mysterious man appeared and this time the farmer accepted the offer. Leading him to the hillside, the old man laid a hand on some rocks, which opened to reveal iron gates at an entrance into the hill. Within the hill, the astonished farmer saw the great king and his knights, together with their mounts, asleep in a vast

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