2. The Arthurian Legend Flashcards Preview

U43. Oral Medieval Literature. The Arthurian Legend, Geoffrey Chaucer & The Canterbury Tales > 2. The Arthurian Legend > Flashcards

Flashcards in 2. The Arthurian Legend Deck (12)
Loading flashcards...

Why a legend?

The story of King Arthur, his wife Guinevere, Merlin and the knights Perceval of Grail fame, Gawain, Lancelot and many others may be considered the most popular theme for English poetry in the Middle Ages.


What is its origin?

It is of Celtic tradition and its origins are in Wales and Cornwall.


When was it published and who did publish it?

The legend was known outside this area in the 12th century with the publication of the HISTORIA REGUM BRITANNIAE (1137) of GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH and the Arthurian romances of the French writer Chrétien de Troyes.


Was Arthur real?

The actual figure of Arthur, it he existed, was a leader of the Celts in their resistance to Teutonic invaders around the year 600 a.d. It is a Roman name suggesting the Roman occupation of the British Islands.


But, When did Arthur appeared as the legendary king?

He appears in a compilation of the beginning of the 9th century, the Historia Brittomnum by NENIUS (1125). Arthur appears at length in the Historia Regum Britanniae (1137) of Geoffrey Monmouth.


Where these literary works original?

No, these were continental sources.


Where these different?

We have to remark that the Arthurian legends lacked in spontaneity, passion and high artistic level. However, like their predecessors in the continent, English romances do not attempt to cover the whole life or Arthur but certain aspects of Arthur’s life or the adventures of his KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE or THE HOLY GRAIL.


Then, What are the major figures in English romance?

We have the major figures and famous themes of Arthurian Legend, Merlin and the early life of Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain, the morte d’Arthur, Perceva, The Grail History, Tristan and Iseult


What are the most popular themes?

The Arthurian Legend in the Middle Ages, The Perceval – Grail and the Tristan stories.


Are these among the preferences of English poets?

No, they aren’t.


When did the Arthurian legend disappear?

The beginnings of the TUDOR dynasty met with the end of the medieval Arthur and the birth of a King different in character as Spencer would reflect in his work THE FAERIE QUEENE


Did it disappeared completely?

No, it didn’t. The Arthurian mythology continues vividly present in English Literature after the Renaissance but it is the Victorian age which takes the myth of King Arthur as a model of virtue.