- Slides: 13
What is a Legend? A legend is a story told about larger-than-life heroes and events from the past Legends are often about a particular person (a hero) Legends have some historical basis, but may also contain Factual details that have been exaggerated over time elements of magic/supernatural Myths: stories that a particular culture believes to be true, using the supernatural to interpret natural events & to explain the nature of the universe and humanity
What have you heard about Arthur? What modern country is said to be the historical realm of King Arthur? What did Arthur have to do to become king? King Arthur’s mentor and teacher was named ____? Arthur’s knights were part of a court called _____? Arthur’s best knight was a Frenchman named _______? Arthur’s queen was named ________?
Origins of the Arthurian Legend Arthurian legend emerged gradually over centuries as storytellers told and retold popular tales about a great chief who mysteriously disappeared but promised to return when his people needed him. King Arthur legends are based on a 5 th or 6 th century Celtic warlord Lived in Wales (Southwestern England) led his people to victory against Saxon invaders fatally wounded in battle and buried in the abbey of Glastonbury, where a gravestone can still be seen bearing his name.
Chivalry is not dead! Chivalry: a code of behavior that medieval knights followed. Associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and courtly love. The terms chivalry and chivalrous are used to describe courteous [polite] behavior, especially that of men towards women.
Code of Chivalry The chivalric code stressed, among other things, loyalty to the king, courage, personal honor, and defending those who could not defend themselves. The Code: Honor Courage Generosity Modesty Honesty Faith in God Loyalty Civility Compassion
Knightly Hierarchy King: male ruler of the country Queen: female ruler of the country or wife of a king Duke: a nobleman of highest rank Duchess: a noblewoman of highest rank Knight: a member of a medieval warrior class Archbishop: a bishop of the highest rank Men and women of high social stature were addressed as Sir and Lady.
KNIGHT TRAINING Taken from home to the court or castle Taught first articles of religion, respect, and reverence for their lords. Initiated in ceremonies of the court Carve, wait at table, and perform servant-type tasks Taught falconry, dancing, harp playing, hunting, fishing, wrestling, tilting with spears, & performing military exercises on horseback AGE 7 Become a page
KNIGHT TRAINING AGE 14 Become a squire Taught to vault on a horse, to run, to scale walls, to spring over ditches – all in heavy armor Taught to wrestle, to wield the battle-axe without raising the visor or taking a breath Taught to perform gracefully on horseback Taught courtesy or refinements of civilization Encouraged to bestow his attentions on a young lady of the court
KNIGHT TRAINING Preparation for the Ceremony: AGE 21 Initiation to the knighthood • Fast and spend whole nights in prayer • Confession and communion • Clothed in snow-white garment • Go to church or hall where the ceremony is to be held • Wear a knightly sword suspended from neck
Important Characters in Arthurian Legends Wart—nickname for young Arthur, squire to Sir Kay—a young knight, son of Sir Ector—foster father of Wart, father of Kay Merlyn—wise magician, employed by Sir Ector as a tutor for Kay and Wart Uther Pendragon—king of England who dies at start of story without an heir (son) Pellinore—an accomplished knight who is now an old, partially deaf man. Delivers the news of Uther’s death
“The Crowning of Arthur” Excerpted from Le Morte d’Arthur (The Death of Arthur) by Sir Thomas Malory One of the earliest publications of the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1485) Has influenced all of the later Arthur stories, including The Once and Future King and The Sword in the Stone 8 total books/chapters tone is much more serious and factual reads more like history book than pleasure reading (The Once and Future King) Style: episodic each chapter tells its own complete story “Crowning of Arthur” comes from Book One of Le Morte d’Arthur
“The Crowning of Arthur” New characters introduced in this version of the legend Uther Pendragon: King of Britain Duke of Tintagil: Duke of Cornwall (part of England); at war for many years with Arthur Lady Igraine: wife of Duke of Tintagil; Uther’s love interest Sir Ulfius: knight and advisor to King Uther Merlin the Prophet: wise mage; can prophesy the future; promises to get Igraine for Uther if Uther will reward him Morgan le Fay: daughter of Igraine and Duke of Tintagil; sent to a nunnery; becomes a witch