Lancelot was not merely a point for which King Arthur to progress as a leader, but also a model for chivalry and humanity. Lancelot never failed to serve Arthur in all his days at the round table and was known to be on the of the nicest, courageous, and chivalrous knights of King Arthur's court. However in being this prime example for chivalry and knighthood, Lancelot also shows his human and relatable side as he falls to sin in his affair with Guinevere. While the ordeal marks the beginning of the downfall for Camelot and King Arthur and moves the story along to the point of no return for the remaining knights, it also serves as a reminder to the everyday person. Even the best of the King of Knight's men is still human, and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. Ours may not end in an all out bloodbath between father and son but the relation is still there. It also serves as a humbling tool for Lancelot and Guinevere as once they see the destruction the set into motion the go into a convent and hermitage respectfully and end their days worshipping God and repenting for their actions while honoring the man they both admired and loved. This leads back to King Arthur being a keystone for modern day values and chivalry as Lancelot serves as the ultimate testament to mans falling to sin. He sets the example by repenting and although this does not fix the damage he has caused, he is on the right track to redemption. In doing this he sets the example for the every-person to not hide in the shadows of their mistakes but to own up to them because even if the most chivalrous knight who betrayed his mentor and had an affair with his wife can do it, so can they.
Avalon represents the utopia after death, or the afterlife rather with bright shiny gates ready to welcome the worthy with open arms. This mystical island originates from Celtic mythology and is said to grow apples all year as its name in old British has aval or apple in modern english. The legends say that the island grows crops all year round without need to cultivate and that anyone who lives there will see 100 plus years on the earth. It is also believed to take influence from the norse mythology's island of the dead, and in the golden fleece it is referenced to be on the island of Mallorca. The fact that this paradise appears so much throughout history raises the question, is it real. The answer may never be known but the island stands as a reminder to every civilization is mentioned in that their afterlife exists and that eternal glory awaits them for following good morals and doing right by the world. Overall it stands as a testament to what king Arthur really stood for, a beacon of hope and an example to follow virtues put in place to better society and to follow morals that will ensure a better tomorrow.
I was absorbed into this article because of its brutal honesty and connection to our own reality. I believe this article will be a higher up on my mentor article list as it puts forward a number of interesting points such as how the modern hero has evolved from killing to saving. The first set of painstaking reminders of the world we live in comes in the first paragraph as the author says the 14th anniversary was the Friday of when this article was written; he then goes on to mention the total number of law enforcement, firefighters, and medics that died that day saving lives. Then the author stems off into talking about how ancient heroes, such as Achilles, were centered around fame by conquer and killing more than saving. The author then says that a transition began to occur after WW1 to the tellings of these stories more predominantly than others in mainstream life. Then he cuts to saying how the medal of honor is an amazing example of this as it dates back to the civil war and is a commendation earned not by the taking of life but of saving it. He then ends off by stating that one of the lead models for this was Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross for all humanity, sacrificing himself for the greater good. Compare this to King Arthur however and although the killing part is spot on for the King of Knights, the sacrifice is also there. As he led his last knights against his son Mordred Trying so desperately to hold onto the ideals that brought him so close to Avalon and the united Britannia he so desired.
This article is interesting to say the least as it explores King Arthurs symbolism and connection to Indian epics and teachings. It relates moments form the legend to that of Indian and Hindu teachings such as overcoming chakras, while also speaking of God and the Holy Spirit. The author goes on to say that his pulling of Excalibur (truth) from the stone (false ego) he overcame his false ego and took his place on the path of destiny. His first slip up was using his birthright to challenge Lancelot in which Excalibur broke due to his misuse of power. After realizing his mistake and repenting, the lady of the lake (The Holy Spirit) came to him and brought Excalibur back, The author then says that this time the stone was not necessary because the truth had already been awakened and he had been tested by God. The kingdom prospered until worldly possessions took hold of all and innocence had been lost symbolized by Lancelot and Guinevere's affair. It then goes on to state that the quest for the holy grail was the quest for the highest state of mind and that it was within them the whole time. Then the final battle with the evil one was where Arthur overcame his second and third chakras and died, his spirit residing to be born again.
The round table represented unity to many who have read the legend, but in addition to that it also represents equality for all regardless of wealth or status. The round table was designed to be the meeting place for Arthur's knights, where they would share tales of awe inspiring adventures and quests they had partaken in. However it had more symbolic meaning that was revolutionary for the age it took place in. Traditional tables were long and rectangular with the king sitting at the front signifying power above the rest, but the round table was different, because it was round. This design ensured that no member would be placed higher or lower than the rest, and there in lies the beauty. In a time when land and wealth signified power above everyone else. The round table ensured everyone had a say in the matter and was at its core an early system of democracy, although the king still had absolute power. It raised the individuals value beyond that of land and weapons but of that of his chivalry and character as a knight, and although only knights sat at the table it was a step in the right direction. King Arthurs table served as a unifying force to the rest of his kingdom signifying that you didn't have to have ultimate power to have a say in things and promoted equality while his knights of Avalon inspired hope in the people.
This article will probably be my mentor article because it encompasses what i believe a hero is, someone willing to sacrifice it all and in doing so brings about a better tomorrow whether the effects are apparent or not. The article goes on to state that the hero is the one willing to sacrifice everything to achieve the greater good, they are willing to see their life taken away to achieve the thing they strove for their entire life. But then we get to the point where i disagree with he article. It says that the hero doesn't die, and instead is left with others who sacrifice themselves for the hero because they believe they could never do what the hero does. On the contrary I believe the sacrifice of life to be one of the defining characteristics of a hero. The hero usually lays broken or betrayed in some way before or after the main conflict, but still they hold steady and keep true to their values (it'd be a lot easier to say this instead of type it). Arthur is betrayed by his two closest companions in life, his kingdom lays in ruins and his knights lay dead beside him or standing with him. He charges onto the battlefield watching his brothers die beside him, and in the end he stands atop a pile of bodies (metaphorically speaking). But he still holds onto the values which drove him there in the first place, then he dies a broken man betrayed by the things that drove him. The same can be said of Seigfreid in German or Norse mythology, after defeating Fafnir the dragon he is asked more and more to do things by the ungrateful villagers to the point where they straight up murder him. In his dying breaths the only thing he wanted to do was help them but he was betrayed by his values. Joan De Arc is another example, she fought to save France only to be betrayed by the same people she fought to protect. She stood at the steak with blood soaked hands and asked God to forgive them because they didn't understand what they were doing. She was burned alive for being a "witch" by the same people she sacrificed her innocence for.
This text is great because it compares two ancient heroes of legend, Beowulf and King Arthur. It shows the complexity of King Arthur as a hero compared to Beowulf as Arthur was used as a tool to promote higher moral standards in society and to lead by example. Beowulf on the other hand was a story about a man who protected others from what they themselves could not defeat. King Arthur had several defining moments in his life, he stood for unity and pride in ones country as others not only laid claim to Britain but said it was under them. While Beowulf only had three, two of which included the monster Grendel and his mother. Overall, however, the overarching heroic tendencies of the two are not so separate according to the author, as the desire to show physical strength, live and die with honor in their later years, and most importantly to save other people by any means.
This text explores Arthurian legend through the ages but also shows how it adapted and evolved with the times. Archdeacon of Monmouth Geoffrey first popularized King Arthur's story around 113 in his book, "History of the Kings of Britain" which he claims he took inspiration for from an earlier British source. Geoffrey continues his writing saying it relates partially to Celtic mythology and drew to the conclusion that Arthur was defending Britain from the invading Romans who had laid claim to the land. Though many historians dismiss Geoffrey's claims, he was the only person to mention King Tenvantius of Britain up until modern archaeologists discovered coins bearing his name in Britain. The next continuation of Geoffrey's version came from the French medieval poet, Chrétien de Troyes who brought us most of the characters we know today along with the romance, such as Lancelot and Yvain along with the court of the grail. He also translated the names from welsh to the French versions we know today. He finishes after mentioning 4 more alterations that it owes it modern popularity to Alfred, Lord Tennyson as his poetic elegy entitled "Idylls of the King" gave people a reborn interest into the life of the King of Knights.
This article takes the legend and breaks it down into the most modern and kind of revolting version of the stories in this legend. We start off with the author telling us that England and Cornwall have been in this everlasting war that starts when someone remembers it. Then Uther (Arthurs dad) decides he likes the duke's wife and declares war on them; Merlin then disguises him as the Duke so when the duke dies in battle she can't tell the difference. The next is of Gawain, and he has a dispute with the lord of some castle named Ablamar. Long story short he destroys him in combat and as he is about to decapitate him his wife jumps in front and takes the blow "head" on. The king then offers for his survival that he wear her head back to Camelot around his neck. The next one isn't that bad it's just Lancelot getting drugged into rape by Lady Elaine, then of him getting tricked into thinking Elaine is Guinevere and seduced again. The last is the most disturbing and it involves Arthur and his sister. So Arthur ended up making love to another king's wife after he sent her as an envoy (Morgawse is her name), she then turns out to be his sister Morgana Le Fey. He then tries to round up all the babies with the same birthday and send them on a boat to sink, all the kids died except Mordred who Merlin predicted would be the end of Arthur hence the drowning. This raises the question of if legends are all they're cracked up to be and If the heroes in them are really good people.
King Arthur has always had a profound effect on history and this article explores those effects such as in the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Chretien de Troyes. Geoffrey brought about the vision of a chivalrous king who was great in times of peace and war, while also showing his conviction to his values as he conquered to keep his home safe. It brings up the question did Arthurs honor and steadfastness ultimately lead to his downfall. Arthur wanted nothing but unity for his kingdom and peace for his citizens and friends but to achieve this he had to endure the exact opposite which lead to a corruption of the things that kept him grounded. This is first seen when Arthur looses Excalibur the first time while challenging Lancelot; he would never have done something like that in times of piece but to keep the order of his growing nation he was forced to. I digress, but the main part of this article isn't to talk about Arthur beliefs, it's to talk about how they resonated in others across the ages and brought about many inspirations and changes in the public. Such as with his revival in the 19th century, as it brought back emphasis on his values and their meanings and tried to get rid of the historical barrier that made it seem like a myth too far from reality. In the end the author believes that King Arthur is about reassuring people in models of the past and showing them that it was not to different from modern times.