48 terms

Arthurian Legends


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Why is the wanderer sad in "The Wanderer"?
He is exiled from his kingdom, his liege lord is dead and he is not, and he has no friends.
Give two details that reveal Guinevere's ( the queen ) character in "Lanval."
Answers may vary. She complains to the king about Lancelot but she is lying. She sought Lancelot out and told him she loved him despite being married to King Arthur.
Give two details that describe Lanval's character.
Answers may vary. He loves passionately and wholly, not forgetting his lady love for even a second when he is away from her. He rejects the queen because he is not willing to betray Arthur, his king and friend.
When Lanval rejects the queen, what does she accuse him?
She accuses him of being a homosexual and a pedophile.
How does Lanval escape his punishment in the end of the tale?
His mysterious lady love comes finally and rescues him. She takes him to Avalon.
Name two ways that Gawain represents a chivalric hero rather than an Anglo-Saxon one.
Answers may vary. He embodies all five virtues and is humble rather than boastful. He also honors women and treats them chivalrously even when they try to seduce him.
Under which king does Gawain serve?
King Arthur
What color was the otherwordly knight's horse in Gawain?
What does the otherwordly knight challenge the men of the round table to do?
He challenges them to strike him w/ a blow under the condition he returns the blow in exactly a year and day later.
Who accepts the challenge 1st & then who accepts the challenge ultimately?
King Arthur; Gawain
How many times did the Green Knight attempt to cut off Gawain's head?
WHy does Gawain accept the lady's girdle?
She tells him it is a magical girdle that will protect anyone who wears it from harm or death.
Who is the true mastermind behind the plot to bring shame to Arthur?
Morgan Le Fey
Why do all the knights @ the end wear green girdles?
They show that all men can fail, have weakness, & have committed sins. They also wear it as a sign of respect & unity.
Who or what is Gringolet?
Gawain's horse
Name 1 theory about where (in what location) Thomas Malory learned the Arthurian Legends.
What happened when Galahad put his hand in the burning water? Why?
It stopped burning & the heat went away immediately. The burning water was a sign of lechery & b/c Galahad was so pure it couldn't w/stand his touch.
What happened when galahad touched Joseph of Arimathea's sword?
All the pieces mended themselves back together as if the sword had never been broken.
In Morte D'Arthur, which knight has a fondness for fresh fruit? What type of fruit is poisoned in an attempt to kill this knight?
Sir Gawain loves fresh fruit, especially apples and pears. An apple was poisoned.
Who is accused of poisoning the fruit? How is this person cleared of the charges?
Queen Guinevere is accused. Lancelot comes forward to fight all the knights on her behalf and wins.
Who does Mordred plan to marry?
To whom does Gawain write a letter when he was dying?
Who wounds Arthur & in what manner?
Mordred wounds Arthur, cleaves his skull by hitting him w/ his sword as he is dying.
Who did poison the apple
Sir Pinel
Was King Arthur "real"? If so, when did he live? When do legends suggest that he reigned/ruled?
Mostly everyone thinks he is fictitious. If he were real, he would have lived around the 700s.
In what city does mythology say that Arthur was born?
In Cornwall & the castle Tintagel
Who are Arthur's real parents and in what situation is he conceived?
Uther Pendragon had no male children and desperatel was in love with Igraine. However, she was married to the Duke of Tintagel. Uther calls Merlin to help him. A battle is fought and the Duke dies on the field of battle. When her husband dies, Uther gets Igraine and thus Arthur!
Who is Merlin? Why does Merlin take Arthur from his mother?
Arthur was promised to Merlin for helping Uther get his lady love Igraine. Igraine was forced to hand him over even though Merlin told her it was for Arthur's own good.
In what century did the stories of Arthur "take off" ( become popular )?
The Arthurian legends do not take off until 1066 ( The Battle of Hastings ) for the reasons below. People found the tales enchanting and grand. The tales had something that everyone would enjoy. They captured the imagination of the aristocracy of Europe.
How does the 1066 Norman Conquest relate to the Arthurian legends?
This momentous event in history ultimately leads to the legends of King Arthur. The tales of Arthur were written partly as a justification for the conquest ( the invasion of Great Britain ) and partly as a reflection of the new society.
What is the round table? What are the two theories regarding who created it? What does it symbolize?
It represents the magic circle, a complete brotherhood where all are equal and give their power to the king. If one knight is missing or killed, the circle is incomplete. Guinevere's father gives him a round table as a present to their marriage. All the seats are labeled with names in gold. Only one seat is specifically reserved and it is the seat of the person who brings the Holy Grail to Camelot.
Why is Geoffrey of Monmouth an important figure to British Literature?
He wrote The Histories of the Kings of Britain. It caught on right away, people found the idea of Arthur as a medieval king exciting, and it was a best seller. He only wrote about the wars but everyone loved his Arthur and his grandeur and that was imitated later. He also included Merlin, a wizard with amazing powers. Everyone uses this name for him afterwards.
What is important about French writer Chretien de Troyes?
He is the most important French writer to take up writing about Arthur. He wrote under Countess Marie who had inherited a taste for literature and the idea of courtly love flourished in her circle. The Arthurian legends as we know it developed under his hands. He invented the "single hero adventure" where we follow only one knight like in Gawain and the Green Knight or so. He put them in the framework that Geoffrey gave us with Arthur and his knights but he follows the knights unlike Geoffrey who focused on the political. We get the heroics instead that give us magic and noble deeds and so on. Our idea of knightly heroes come from him.
Why is chivalry/courtly love vital to the survival of the knights?
As you were a fellow of a very elite group, you had to act as a certain way to them. It was like joining a club and it was important for you survival. It was their code of ethics. Although courtly love of a lady and honoring a woman is a newer idea, it was a large part of their ethics. Your relationship with a lady was one of respect to her. You looked up to her almost like a god and you did her bidding, a servant. The lady had a certain amount of power in being able to accept or reject your advances.
What is the basic tale of The Sword in the Stone?
Uther didn't survive the birth of his son. The kingdom falls into chaos and Merlin is called on once again. Using his powers, he devises a plan. He summons all great men to come to West Minster where the next king would be chosen. In the courtyard, there was a large stone with a steel anvil in it and from the anvil rose a beautiful sword. On the stone was an inscription that said, "Whoever draws this sword is the rightful King of England." Among the crowd are Arthur and his brother Kay. Kay tries first to pull the stone from the sword but it doesn't move. Arthur tries next and draws the sword cleanly from the stone. Arthur is proclaimed King.
What is Excalibur? Where does it come from?
He is provided with a more appropriate sword, befitting of a king by magical means. It is a symbol of power and it is the most important item of a knight. A king would have a personal sword, an unarming sword he wore on horseback, and they had cross hilts ( to remind them of God and their fellow knights ). Arthur has two swords. Arthur has the one from the stone, to prove his kingship, and then Excalibur. It is given to him by the lady of the lake. Excalibur was for his protection, it would bring him glory and victory but the scabbard would also keep its holder from dying from his wounds.
What was the symbolic importance of Camelot? Do scholars/historians believe it truly existed?
Most people believe it is by Glastonbury at the Cadbury Camp, a fort, in England that is associated with the Arthurian England and Camelot itself.
What is Avalon?
Also related to Glastonbury. Beyond the mist is Avalon where the people who live there are living and dead at the same time. They have power, both evil and good. The lady of the lake resides here. It is almost like another world.
What is important about Glastonbury/Cadbury?
Glastonbury is associated with Avalon and Cadbury is associated with Camelot. If the Arthurian places did exist, this is where the would be and that is why they are important.
In this version of the tale, who does Arthur marry and why?
Guinevere is the woman that Arthur marries. She is the love of his life.
Who is Lancelot and why is he important to the Arthurian legends?
He is Arthur's greatest knight and is one of his friends but betrays Arthur and is the downfall of the kingdom because of his love for Guinevere and his desire to steal her away. The lady of the lake brings Lancelot to Arthur. Merlin had given Lancelot to her to raise. To prove his greatness, Arthur makes him heal an injured man who could only be healed by the greatest knight's touch. Arthur was very close with Lancelot. De Troyes is the one who introduces Lancelot ( which is also why Troyes is important ). Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere and betrays Arthur and his trust. He is one of the most human figures in the Arthurian legends. He is the most flawed ( an adulterer ) which is why he could see the Grail but could not take it.
What are the two theories regarding the Holy Grail and why does it become such an important part of the Arthurian legends?
The names of the Grail or the object it is often changes. It is believed to be the cup that God drank from at the last supper. If not that, it is believed to be the cup that caught the blood of Christ as he was on the cross. It is important because it holds religious significance and it represents the perfect communion. Galahad is the only one who can take the Grail, the only one pure of heart and free of sin. He is the one who can sit in the seat at the round table that is reserved for the one who finds the Holy Grail. He fulfills the quest. See The Miracle of Galahad.
Who is Morgan le Fey/Morgasa/Morgana? Note: The video separates Morgan le Fey and Morgasa.
In the video, Morgasa is Arthur's half-sister and whom he has Mordred by. Morgan le Fey is the witch that leads Morgasa to seducing Arthur and always tries to cause trouble or bring shame to Arthur's court.
Do Arthur and Guinevere have children?
No, they did not have any children with each other. Arthur however had a child with his half-sister.
What is one theory regarding what happens to Guinevere and Lancelot at the end of the tale?
Mordred find Lancelot, after he's been sent away by Guinevere, and he is not alone. He goes to Arthur and tells him that he has found Guinevere with Lancelot and that they have been spending their days together in each other's company. Mordred reminded Arthur of the law and that the Queen must burn, as well as Lancelot, for their crimes. They capture Guinevere when she leaves again to go see Lancelot and they tie her up to burn her. Lancelot saves Guinevere and they ride away and escape. They are found at Lancelot's castle at Wales and a siege is waged. Lancelot finally agrees to go into exile in France and Guinevere goes to Camelot. He goes to find Lancelot in France and leaves Mordred in charge. This is horrible since Mordred takes over the kingdom and takes Guinevere for his own.
What is the error that causes the final war at Camelot?
Mordred and Arthur agree to talks of peace between them but during the talks, a soldier of Mordred's is bitten by an adder and pulls his sword out to kill it. Unfortunately, everyone sees him and fights break out. Most of the knights are killed except for one and Arthur himself.
How does Arthur die? What do they do with his body?
He snatches up a spear to kill Modred, running toward him. He drops Excalibur and its sheath in his haste while he is spearing Modred. Modred's sword cleaves Arthur's head apart. They take him and Excalibur back to the lake. A white barge comes from the lake and Avalon and Arthur is put into it. It is taken back to Avalon.
Why are the Arthurian legends one of the most written about legends in all of history?
Answers may vary. It is the end of the civilization as we know it because of sexual passion. There is a great hero, the fact that he comes from unusual and mysterious circumstances. He rises to power, his demonstrates his perfectness by pulling the sword from the stone, and he has the ability to lead. But we know perfection cannot last and finally we have Arthur who dies, sleeps, or goes into the West.