In the story “King Arthur” an incredible series of events takes place and eventually leads to the demise of nearly every main character. It begins with the death of a king named Uther Pendragon. His death triggers the foreseen collapse of the kingdom of Britain and leads everyone wanting to become the next king to protect this vulnerable kingdom. But a watchful eye comes to the rescue of the kingdom, if not in the eyes of many, the world.
Soon after Uther Pendragon’s death, a magician and prophet named Merlin recognizes the danger of the collapse of Britain. Merlin uses his powers to try and insure the outcome of the kingdom and all that accompanies it. From events such as Arthur pulling the sword out of an anvil within marble, then Arthur becoming king, and even to all of his glorious battles, Merlin had his part.
After the first couple chapters you learn of Mordred’s conception. Then you learn of who exactly the mother is. Once King Arthur learns of whom the mother really is he must do something terrible to his child and several others. But little does he know that his plan doesn’t succeed, and his destiny is still intact.
Shortly after his mistake with his half-sister he marries Guinevere. Despite Merlin’s warning he still marries her. For she is so beautiful. King Arthur receives 100 nights and the famous Round Table as a gift from Guinevere’s father. After the marriage King Arthur’s reign continues steadily up until he conquers Gaul, which was a province of Rome. Rome eventually threatens him, and King Arthur replies with a harsh threat himself. He keeps his word and conquers much of the Roman Empire.
Between the times of his marriage and many of his first battles there are many tales of King Arthur and his heroic and generous acts, also tales of his friends heroic and generous acts. But it would seem that not all these heroic and generous friends were actually that great of friends.
After the battle with the Romans Sir Lancelot became the leading knight of the Round Table. Sir Lancelot was in high regard and loved by many. But Guinevere had a “special” love for him, as did he for her. For years this affair went on with King Arthur being conveniently unaware. But one of his knights just can’t take it any longer and tells King Arthur of what he knows.
The newly opened eyes of King Arthur and awareness of what had been going on leads to the order of Guinevere to be burned, the war against Sir Lancelot and eventually nearly every single characters death. Including that of our “Hero” by his own son, and both are unaware of it.
But in the end Guinevere and Sir Lancelot die of what the story implies as natural causes, or at least the implication was that they brought it upon themselves.
Throughout reading this story my views and opinions must have changed after reading every other paragraph. One minute I would think one thing then the next I’d have a completely different point of view.
To start off I didn’t like how Merlin had so much control over things. Or how what he said kind of ruined the story cause after the first prediction is right I just kind of wanted to not even read the rest. Then sure enough every other prediction happened. I think the story could have done better alone without Merlin in it. But yes I understand that he had to be in it. Plus what was up with Merlin setting King Arthur up? One minute he’s his buddy then the next he’s keeping a secret that Arthur is with his half-sister.
Aside from Merlin there were other things that irked me. First the book didn’t in anyplace say for sure whether or not Guinevere and Sir Lancelot were actually having sex or if they were just in love and spent time with one another. But because of all the other things the story did point out I guess it’s safe to make the assumption that they were in fact having sex. So with that assumption in place then why all the completely ignorant and absent-minded words?
For instance when Sir Lancelot was in Queen Guinevere’s room and said this
“You all know that ever since I came to Britain, I have been loyal to my lord, King Arthur, and to my lady, Queen Guinevere. Tonight the Queen sent for me to speak with her. King Arthur commanded Sir Agravain, Sir Mordred, and twelve knights to betray me while I was in her room.”(p.314)
First off, he hasn’t been loyal. He’s been secretly “seeing” and you can use that term as you wish Queen Guinevere. Not to mention that he’s been pursuing her for years now, while knowing that he “loved” her. Next, Queen Guinevere is not “his” lady. She is King Arthur’s lady. As for the twelve knights that were to betray him. He had betrayed King Arthur first; he was going to get what he had coming. Whenever I feel myself having feelings for someone that is involved already I back away. Not continue to pursue them, then claim that I was loyal.
Then Sir Lancelot goes on to say “I will fight for her and declare that she has been true to her lord.” Now wait just a minute. So now this guy is claiming that Queen Guinevere has been true to King Arthur. I must have missed the part of the story when Queen Guinevere went up to King Arthur and said “Hi honey, I’m cheating on you.”
It’s just completely ridiculous how Sir Lancelot is King Arthur’s worst enemy then best buddy. Especially after pulling the crap that he pulled. And then to top it off making claims about how “loyal” he and Guinevere were. I know the story made sure to mention that it was actually common those days for people to have lovers outside of their marriage. So maybe they didn’t care much about that kind of thing like many do today. But one thing they did care about back then was honesty and Sir Lancelot was not honest. He was deceptive and so was Queen Guinevere.
Then when King Arthur attacks Sir Lancelot’s castle Lancelot says “I am sorry that I killed your knights, but I did so only to save my own life. And as for Queen Guinevere, of all the knights under heaven, only you or Gawain could charge me with being a traitor and yet live! I will defend the queen’s honor against any other knight alive, for she is as true to you as any lady living is to her lord.
So he’s having sex with her, then he says that she is being true to King Arthur. Now lets just assume that she’s not having sex with Sir Lancelot and all the pointers in the story aren’t pointing that out. She still loves Sir Lancelot, so just by loving him she’s not being true to King Arthur.
Yet again here Lancelot says “I would have lost my honor if I had let the queen burn for my deeds.” How is she burning for his deeds? She is burning for her own wrong deeds. He’s just so in love with her that he’s willing to say/do anything for her. And I think most of the time he is completely oblivious as to what he is saying, and how much it contradicts with what he’s done.
In a way I think that King Arthur deserves what happened to him as far as Sir Lancelot and Guinevere go. Since King Arthur loved, and had sex with a woman, his half-sister while she was married to a King.
The whole story just saddens me. Not because of just the betrayal, and all the deception or even the twisted turn of events that occurred. Simply because of the waste, the waste of time, the waste of life and the waste of love.