Free The Legacy of King Arthur and Beowulf Essay Sample
King Arthur's legacy began in a world of magic and fear, a time when there existed strong belief in sorcery, omen, treasures and magic in people's minds. The roots of these beliefs in magic and socerery date back to the Celts, who believed in the forces of supernatural ideas. King author's story was told and sung by the Celtics over a hundred of years before being written down at the times of the medieval. Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxons after the Romans had left dating back to the fifth century (Chretien 36). Some writers told a story of a leader who struggled and managed to stop the invaders hence winning over twelve battles. This leader was known to be Artorius, his story managed to spread so fast, and Arthur and his men became were crowned as men associated with courage, strength and loyalty. Sir Lancelot was the hero of King Arthur court and secret lover of Guinevere who became an important figure as well. King Arthur's fate and his kingdom was manipulated by two people who were practicing magic, the wizard Merlin and the witch morgaine le Fay. According to research, King Arthur was born at tintagel castles and his father was Uther Pendragon, Igraine was his mother wife of Gorlois, Duke of Tintagel.After Uther falling in love with Igraine, Merlin the wizard man used his powers to transform Uther into the exact image of Gorlois. Merlin prophesied that they will have a future full of glory. Though at the same time fearing for the safety of Gorlois, he insisted that baby Arthur be handed over to him. He took him to a knight by the name of Ector who brought him up alongside his own son Kay. Morgaine le Fay a witch learned much of her magic tactics from Merlin and unlike Merlin; she used her magic for evil reasons and particularly to bring her step brother Arthur down. She could transform herself into rocks or even animals. There is a particular time she changed herself to be like the lady of the court, mixing up with other ladies to investigate intimate secrets of royal gossip. She got information about one highly respected knight, Sir Lancelot. She therefore, began to get close to him and informing him about the loneliness of lady Guinevere and she even suggested that Sir Lancelot being the king's favorite should start caring for her. Morgaine le Fay's intentions were after the down fall of King Arthur so she knew that it won't take long before Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere developed a romantic relationship (Sherman 68).
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The use of power
Historically, research shows that women of old English literature are seen as passive creatures contending with inferior gender status. Most of women's social and political importance occurs from the bond of family duties and obligations which they build up through marriage and sons they produce (Pearsall 78).Generally, their status as individuals is most of the time perceived as being of less importance with a corresponding lack of personal power. In this book feminine power is presented and we see how some of female characters show some form of control. Most women characters presented in this book were used as tools for peacemaking; they were married to hostile tribes with the aim of obtaining peaceful settlements. War was a persistent threat in Anglo-Saxon society therefore peace was a valued ideal within the society. Women's social status was derived in part by their willingness and effectiveness as intermediaries, their power therefore was directly related to their influence within their society. Generally women do not possess men's physical strength hence cannot defend themselves. Instead they depend on the diplomacy and tact so that they can restrain violence. They also lack the power to reach for the treasures needed in order to motivate follower's loyalty through displaying of generosity. It shows then that their political stand is always inferior to that of their husband's regardless of personal qualities (Sherman 204).
Women are required to show royalty in order to cement alliances and act as tactful intermediaries between the lord and his retainers. For instance, the queen in this story has the qualities of a royal woman and thus her advice is seen to have great influence. She is significantly the focus of all hospitality within the male dominated hall. Her powers are used when Beowulf arrives and she welcomes him by offering him a drinking horn. Her duty was to serve drinks and the manner by which the horn was passed on described the esteem in which each man was respected.
The women of Beowulf are presented to be powerful in different degrees depending on their status. Those with little or no effective public speech have very little control even to their own lives. The queen and Hygd are better in their active duties as negotiators, though this still remains to be feminine source of power with the use of tactics and diplomacy. Therefore this women can only achieve greatest things through functioning in a man's world. The use of power here is misused especially concerning women.
Morgaine le Fay used her power as a witch to encourage Sir Lancelot into falling in love with Lady Guinevere making him to betray King Arthur. She had the evil intentions of causing the down fall King Arthur so used that opportunity to carry out her evil actions and at the end, sir Lancelot betrays King Arthur yet he was so favored. The king had the opportunity to rule the world but unfourtunately, because of his power, passion and betrayal disrupted his perfect realm resulting into his death. supernatural powers in this story are also used to determine a person's life or even predict the future. For instance, in the Arthurian legend Arthur's destiny was prophesied by the wizard Merlin even before he was born. And when he grew up and become the king, he served as his helper and adviser later. Arthur was made a king through gaining all the possession of the enchanted sword Excalibur, which was a token; power same to many magical powers.
The character within the texts of Beowulf and Chrietie De Troyes, Arthurian Romances' use of power is revealed during funeral function of various characters such as the king of the Dane. Because of his powers, he was given a prestigious death service as the king by his people. His funeral service was held at the sea with variety of weapons and treasures just to show his greatness and power as a soldier and also a great leader to his people. All these treasure were buried with him to emphasize the significant of such tools. For instance, this item shows how powerful a person is in a society. Therefore, the most powerful people are greatly honored even after they die than the less powerful. This is seen throughout the story and especially during their burial services. They get prestigious celebrations and even get buried with precious gifts and treasure and gold as a sign of honor and respect Pearsall.
Qualities of heroes
Generally, it is every hero's' desires to leave a mark that will make him or her to be remembered for more than one heroic tendency. Research shows that in every hero in the world literature class has at least three common tendencies that they fight for. These include protecting people from evil, using their power to rescue or save their relatives and friends from evil situations, and to earn immortality via his heroic tendencies. For instance, Beowulf, as an Anglo-Saxon hero had three characteristics. His quests were to restore Herot as a result of mass destruction that was caused by the monster Grendel, the most evil man of all evils. Grendel used to terrorize the city by killing many people during the night in their sleep, and denying them the ability to fight back. King Hrothgar was forced to hire the brave knight Beowulf to defeat the creature of darkness. The knight was assigned the duty to hunt him and fight him with great might. Beowulf left with Grendel's arm at the end of that particular battle making him to have a sigh of relief and a sign of his triumph. However, Grendel's mother was very disappointed and furious over the death of her son, and as a result decided to prolong her son's rampage. She therefore began to slaughter very innocent people in Herot as a revenge of his son's death. Beowulf decided to have a brawl with her and soon had her head. These show that Beowulf was a man of great achievements and very victorious in battles, which made him to be promoted to the higher position of leadership.
King Arthur also achieved many great things like defeating Mordred. Through this; his heroic qualities were shown and as a result ended the feuding between the two kingdoms, bringing peace. Earlier, Arthur 's own death was foretold prior to engaging in combat with Mordred.He later discovered that this was true. The discovery of his dearth soon made him to do a noble thing and this was returning the sword to the lake where it would be at rest. Arthur knew that because he was greatly blessed by God and given the Excalibur from the lady of the lake, he was therefore the only one who had the power to use that sword and because he was going to die soon he had to return it where it belonged.
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Beowulf's accomplishment were through God. He boasted about God's protection and won battles he fought in the Almighty's name. This concept created fear into all of his opponents, even if they showed no sign of it. Beowulf's mere touch would make any mortal man wish to die. He had been blessed with much strength than any other man by God. His strength is seen when he managed to carry Grendel's mother's head when the average men shivered at the thought of lifting the monstrous thing. These supernatural powers truly provided him with an extra advantage over his opponents. Another powerful quality that Beowulf possessed was his integrity. He was always true to his word and always strived to do the right thing all the time. His claim was that God was his protector and this is proved when he fought by Grendel and won that battle Chretien de.
King Arthur and Beowulf had similar characteristics which are found in many great heroes. They had the urge to provide protection to the innocent people from the attack of evil, they believed and had trust in God in all their battles and this made them to fight with courage and pride. They were strong physically, possessed right morals, and shared a passion for what they participated in. Therefore, with all these qualities, they fought to protect mankind from evil, rescued and saved different families and their friends from evil encounters, and both managed to gain immortality. The heroes are usually the king because they are seen to possess the qualities needed of a great hero. These qualities include generosity, moral upright, have courtesy and have the quest to protect their people and friends.Therefore, with all these qualities, the heroes are always set to rule because people believe in them and they know that their life would be protected from evil circumstances. The writers of this text are kind to the kings because they present them with respect and as people who are determined to rescue the lives of their citizens.
During the medieval period, knights offered their lives to follow the code of chivalry, which are qualities of an ideal knight such as courtesy, generous, and being moral upright. Sir Lancelot's mode of actions of loyalty and bravery were put into test as well as king Arthur's chivalrous acts. In sir Gawain's case, he shows loyalty to his lord by accepting the challenge of the green knight after king Arthur.
The Arthurian legends exist in various versions which narrate of a great king who brought order to a troubled country. The king had the opportunity to rule the world but unfourtunately, passion and betrayal disrupted his perfect realm leading to his death. There are supernatural forces revealed in the Arthurian legend. Arthur's destiny was prophesied by the wizard Merlin even before he was born. He served as the king's help and adviser later .Arthur was made a king through gaining all the possession of the enchanted sword Excalibur, which was a token power same to many magical devices. Qualities of a hero include protecting people from evil circumstance, using their power to rescue or save their relatives and friends from evil situations, and to earn immortality via his heroic tendencies. A hero also needs to have coutersey,be generous, have moral upright, believe and trust in good, and fight for the sake of his people irrespective of any circumstances encountered.