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King Arthur Research Paper

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The Legend of King Arthur is timeless. It is the story of a great king who accomplished much and continues to be an inspiration. There have been many works of literature written about him, as well as movies and plays. The origins of the legend are not completely known, but some of the earlier recorded works include Pearl-Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. By analyzing ancient British paganism and Christianity, one can see how they each influenced the creation of the legend of King Arthur to make it the well known story many know and love today. It begins with pagans, the ancient Britons- the Aryans. Pagans are considered the people who had their own local religions as opposed to Christianity. …show more content…
In fact, the Celts have stories relating to Arthur before Christianity, including tales such as The Lady of the Fountain, Geraint, and Peredur.(Scudder) To begin, one must start at the root of the legend. Who was Arthur? The King Arthur of legends is speculated to be a combination of a Celtic god Arthur and a human Arthur who was a military authority- the Count of Britain.(Squire) Throughout time, these two separate entities merged together to create one powerful king of all Britain, a king so great that in Le Morte D'Arthur it is said that, “Hic facet Arthurus, Rex quondam, Rexque futurus” is written upon his tomb- loosely translated to “Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.” According to Charles Squire in Celtic Myths and Legends, there are several parallels between King Arthur and Gaelic analogues, particularly the Fenians. Arthur is similar to Finn of the Fenians in several ways. One is that they hold similar positions of power. Another is “the love story of Arthur, his wife Guinivere, and his nephew Mordred resemble in several ways that of Finn, his wife Grainne and his nephew Diarmait.” (Squire) Both Finn and Arthur also are said to not have truly died, but gone to the Island of Avalon, and might come again. Regarding the theme of “the once and future king,” it can also be traced back to Christianity. It can be related to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, …show more content…
The also observe many holy days and feasts, among these are Pentecost, the Feast of the Assumption, Easter, and Christmas. Not only are these days mentioned, but they play instrumental parts in the story. In Le Morte D'Arthur, Arthur pulls the sword from the stone on Christmas.(Fritscher) This can be likened to the birth of Jesus Christ, a King was born on Christmas, and Arthur was declared the rightful King of England by pulling the sword out of the stone on Christmas. Both came into their role as King on this feast. The themes of Christianity continue with the birth of Merlin. A woman is impregnated by a devil with the intent of creating an evil child- a perversion of Mary begetting Jesus through the Holy Spirit. However, the woman christens her child, Merlin and he grows to actually work against evil. “He uses the weird wisdom of Hell deliberately and systematically against the powers of evil, and his chief joy is in preparing the way for the fulfillment of the Mysteries of the

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