Class 8


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Class 8

  1. 1. Class 8 Legend
  2. 2. Arthurian background Background to The Arthurian Legend Celts arrived on the British Isles from Northern Europe. Their religious leaders were Druids: priests, prophets, poets, magicians, scientists, and doctors. They were both expert in human knowledge and they could also deal with the gods and goddesses. Druidsworshipped the sun and the four holidays were the two solstices, summer and winter, when the sun is closest to the earth and the two equinoxes, when it is the farthest, vernal and autumnal. The Celts were into sacrifice, to help them get enough food and to ward off illness. Britain was later conquered by the Romans, who brought Christianity, but the Celts lived pretty comfortably with the old gods and goddesses and the Christian God for many years.
  3. 3. Arthurian Background continued The enemies of the Britons were the Picts, from the north, the Gauls, (from what is now know as France) the The Saxons and, The Goths, and the Visigoths. The first chronicler of Arthur is Geoffrey of Monmouth, who lived in the 12th Century. His History of the Kings of England is a largely fictional work, that traces Arthur and the current Britain back to the Trojan War. Geoffrey of Monmouth's work was regarded as fiction until Geoffrey Ashe wrote a historical detective story that showed that Arthur was almost certainly Riothamus (name means (High king in Celt Rigo (King) + amos(most)). Arthur is his Roman name (remember the Romans had conquered and were benevolent invaders); it is Artorius (which means bear). Many people had both British and Roman names such as St. Patrick, who was also called Maun. Riothamus actually did fight the Gauls and was known for peace-making and his court. He also, like Arthur, was away in battle when his throne was seized and he died, discredited and alone in what is now France, near Avallon, an actual French town still.
  4. 4. Prior to Arthur’s Birth 1. One of the princes of Troy, Aeneas, fled to an island, killed off giants and named the island Britain after the leader, Brutus. Brutus's descendant is Constantine, father of Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon (name means heart of the dragon). Uther is the father of Arthur. 2. Aurelius and Uther are told by Merlin to go to Ireland and bring back the Giants' Ring. Uther does so and Aurelius dies while he is there. 3. Uther has a dream that he sees a huge star with a beam in the shape of a dragon. Two rays of light from his mouth, one pointing toward Gaul and the other into seven smaller rays. It comes 3 times. Merlin tells him that he is the dragon because his brother is dead and that his son will live near Gaul and rule over all and that the 7 rays will be Morgawse's sons, who will rule after him. (Gawain, Gareth, Mordred, Agravain, Gaheris)
  5. 5. Did Lancelot and Guinevere have an actual affair? Two views on the relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere: Sir Thomas Malory (Le Morted’Arthur) and Chretien de Troyes (Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart)
  6. 6. The relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere in Le Morte, drawn strongly from sources that had drawn on Chretien himself, shares with its predecessor an abundance of the traditions of courtly love. Lancelot performs many deeds of chivalry in Guinevere’s name, and time and again, throughout Le Morte, Lancelot weaves in and out of favor with his lady. He and Guinevere certainly consummate the relationship. Chretien focuses a great deal on “courtly love.”
  7. 7.  In contrast with Chretien’s Lancelot, however, Malory’s Lancelot is not primarily a lover; he is a fighter, as befits a knight being written about in the wake of the Hundred Years War and the War of the Roses. To one of the ladies at court, Lancelot says, "I love not to be constrained to love"; this is certainly a different Lancelot than the one put forth in "The Knight of the Cart" (Malory 416). In Malory, the love between Lancelot and Guinevere seems to exist for one purpose only: to inspire Lancelot to perform chivalrous deeds in the name of his lady and of the court of Camelot. In fact, with the exception of the downfall of Arthur’s kingdom at the end of Le Morte, the love affair exists mostly as a background fact, rather than as a key point.
  8. 8. Group work: Get into groups of 7. Each group will fill out an overhead and present it to the class. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Rank’s Hero: Arthur Rank’s hero: Mordred Arthur’s Campbell’s hero’s Departure Arthur’s Campbell’s hero’s Initiation Arthur’s Campbell’s hero’s Return How Merlin represents tricksters Bierlin’s Meanings in Arthur
  9. 9. Homework: For Class 9 (Oct. 21) Rosenberg: pp. 296-321 Ramayana