The Truth Behind the Arthurian Legend

In scores of languages and shaped to all sorts of storytelling genres, from medieval epic to modern musical, tales of Arthur and his knights have been enthralling people for more than a thousand years (Alexander 1). The question is, however, how much truth is there behind the Arthurian Legend? King Arthur, Camelot, and the Round Table are three of the central elements in the tales that are told of this great era, but the legend does not reveal the whole truth. It is believed by many scholars who have long studied the Arthurian legend that Camelot and the others were real in a sense at some point in time, and over the last 500 years their actual deeds developed into the legendary tales that are told in this day and age. The legend begins with King Arthur being born to Uther Pendragon and Ygraine, the wife of Gorlois. This conception occurred in the castle of Tintagel. After his birth, Arthur grew up as a squire to Kaye, who was the son of Sir Ector, a knight loyal to Uther. Ector had been given the responsibility of raising young Arthur, who never knew his true heritage. According to the legend, Arthur needed to find Kayes sword so he could participate in a tournament. Unable to do so, Arthur found a sword stuck into a stone, and removed it. This was the legendary sword in the stone, and by removing it, Arthur was able to fulfill his destiny, and become the king. There is evidence to support the view that some of this tale has a degree of truth behind it. In northern Cornwall there is a Tintagel Castle. This particular structure was erected in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, well after Arthurs time, but these are not the only ruins in the area. Above the castle are extensive remains of structures built in the fifth or sixth centuries. This time period coincides perfectly with Arthurs most likely place in time. The current opinion…is that these remains are indeed, the headquarters of a po…

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