King Athur and Other Celts

King Athur and Other Celts - Celtic & English M...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Celtic & English M ythology The Knights of the Round Table, The Sword in the Stone, and The Holy Grail The Prince of Thieves, Men in Tights, o' the Hood, o' the Wood Slayer of the Monster Grendel and Grendel's Mother King Arthur: Robin Hood: Beowulf: King Arthur Arthur, it seems, is claimed as the King of nearly every Celtic Kingdom known The 6th Century saw many men named Arthur born into the Celtic Royal families of Britain but, despite attempts to identify the great man himself amongst them, there can be little doubt that most of these people were only named in his honor. Princes with other names are also sometimes identified with "Arthwyr". Some believe that Arthur was a prominent Roman Praetorian, whose name was Lucius Artorius Castus, and who fought the varying tribes of "savages" that roamed modern day Great Britain, but this is just speculation. Some people believe that King Arthur is so inextricably tied up in Celtic Mythology that he must, in origin, have been, not a man at all, but a god. Mythology that he must, in origin, have been, not a man at all, but a god. The name Arthur itself appears to derive from the Celtic word Art, meaning "bear". Could Arthur, like so many other Celtic gods, be merely a personification of the many revered animals of the wild? If so, it is possible that he may have become humanized like Loucetios, one of several Celtic deities known to be able to transform themselves into birds or beasts of the forest. The Round Table, first mentioned by Wace in his "Roman de Brut" was not only a physical table, but the highest Order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur. Its members were supposedly the cream of the British military who followed a strict code of honor and service. Sir Thomas Malory outlines this as: 1. To never do outrage nor murder 2. Always to flee treason 3. To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy 4. To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor 5. To never force ladies, gentlewomen or widows 6. Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods Giovanni Boccaccio in his "De Casibus Virorum Illustrium" further says that the twelve basic rules of the Knights of the Round Table were: 1. To never lay down arms 2. To seek after wonders 3. When called upon, to defend the rights of the weak with all one's strength 4. To injure no one 5. Not to attack one another 6. To fight for the safety of one's country 7. To give one's life for one's country 8. To seek nothing before honor 9. Never to break faith for any reason 10. To practice religion most diligently 11. To grant hospitality to anyone, each according to his ability 12. Whether in honor or disgrace, to make a report with the greatest fidelity to truth to those who keep the annals The 25 Knights of the Winchester Roundtable King Arthur Sir Percivale Sir Bedivere Sir Palomedes Sir Pelleas Sir Degore Sir Mordred Sir Galahad Sir Lionell Sir Bleoberis Sir Lamorak Sir Kay Sir Brunor le Noir Sir Lancelot du Lac Sir Tristram de Lyones Sir La Cote Male Taile Sir Bors de Ganis Sir Ector de Maris Sir Le Bel Desconneu Sir Gawain Sir Gareth Sir Lucan Sir Safer Sir Dagonet Sir Alymere As legend has it, King Arthur specifically wanted a round table for his knights, which was much different than usual court seating from that time period. The reason this was the case was because Arthur wanted it clear that at this table, all men's viewpoints were equal. Although he was the king, he wanted to see everyone had an equal voice in the proceedings of the order. To this end, there was not a "head of the table". Excalibur: The Legendary Sword of King Arthur The magical sword of Arthur in the romances. Its name is derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Caliburn" which itself mimics the Latin chalybs, or "steel." Sometimes identified as the Sword in the Stone, usually it is not. One account states that it belonged to Gawain first. The most familiar version has Arthur break the sword drawn from the stone and Merlin arranges its replacement with a weapon of supernatural power. Together they meet the Lady of the Lake (originating from an archetype of a Celtic priestess ) (originating from an archetype of a Celtic priestess whose hand, holds aloft Excalibur from the water. Merlin instructs Arthur that the scabbard is actually of more value for he cannot lose blood so long as he carries it. It is Morgan Le Fay's plotting that leads to the scabbard's disappearance. After the final battle, as the King lies wounded, he orders one of the surviving Knights, Bedivere or Girflet, to cast Excalibur into the water. The Knight twice disobeys yet on the third trip throws the sword into the water where a hand rises, catches it and withdraws beneath the surface. Five places claim to be the location of this event including Dozmary Pool on Bodwin Moor and Pomparles Bridge near Glastonbury. Loe Pool in south Cornwall is Tennyson's location. Archaeology has provided evidence of a custom that this tale echoes. In ancient times a warrior's sword was considered singular to him, imbued with his spirit. Sometimes his sword would be sunk into some body of water to discourage its retrieval by an enemy or anyone else. When the Lionheart, Richard I, presented Tancred of Sicily with a sword on a visit in 1191, he claimed the sword was Arthur's. The King was doubtless aware of the discovery of the grave in Glastonbury since his father, Henry II, had used this story to silence Welsh rumors that the real Arthur would return. The Quest: The San Graal (or the Holy Grail) The Holy Chalice of the Last Supper Or The Genetic Vessel of God' s Only Son 3 4 1 2 6 5 7 8 12 11 9 10 14 13 15 16 1719 18 20 21 24 23 22 ...
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online