king arthur and round table information help?

i need to present about king arthur and the round table, it is an oral presentatiopn where i talk about it for 4 minuites i need ideas about interestings things to fill up the time

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  • Jallan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
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    The Round Table is not even mentioned in surviving Welsh Arthurian tales, save in those that are translations of French tales. That is not surprising as apparently the Britons from whom the Welsh descend, did not eat at tables, anymore than did the Romans.

    Eating at tables was in origin a Saxon and German custom. The Old English word for “table” was “bord”, which means simply “board”, as what we now call a table was a board set on trestles on which food was placed for eating. To set the table meant to set the board on its trestles. When the Welsh adopted the custom they also used the English word, so that “bwrd” is now the Welsh word for “table”.

    In Irish legend, we see courts described in which the warriors sit or squat in a circle around a central hearth.

    Presumably some teller of tales referred to Arthur and his knights in this kind of environment, and some his hearers, not easily being able to imagine eating formally without a table, unwittingly invented the idea of the Round Table.

    The Round Table is first mentioned in surviving texts in a poem called “Roman de Brut” written by a poet named Wace. It is a verse expansion of the “Historica Regem Britanniae” by Geoffrey of Monmouth (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/History_of_the_Kings... A partial translation of Wace's work into English is available here: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10472 . Wace claims the Table was ordained by Arthur. You can search and see what Wace says.

    A later English poet named Laȝamon in turn wrote a poem which was an expansion of Wace’s work, and was also known as “Brut”. A partial translation is available here: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutboo... . Search on “Round Table” for Laȝamon’s account of how the Round Table was created, a version not found in any other source.

    The Knights of the Round Table are mentioned in almost every Arthurian romance, without much being said about the order.

    There is a German poem called “Wigalois” about Gawain’s son Wigalois who is the same as the Malory’s Gingalin. According to the story there is a marble stone outside Arthur’s city of Cardoil (Carlisle) on which no man who has done any shameful deed may sit. Only Arthur himself may set there. Not even his nephew Gawain could do more than hold a hand toward it, because he had once abused a damsel. But Gawain’s son Wigalois sits on the stone.

    In the German poem “Lanzelet”, there is, similarly, a Stone of Honor upon which Gawain sits. When Lancelot arrives at court, he dismounts by the stone. “They were all pleased to see how well the Stone suffered him ...”.

    A medieval work called “Merlin”, attributed to Robert de Boron (though some now dispute this), describes the Round Table as being created by the orders of Merlin for Arthur’s father King Uther Pendragon. It was a duplicate of the table of the grail which was established by Joseph of Arimathea in the romance “Joseph of Arimathea” by Robert de Boron, which table was itself made in imitation of the table at which Jesus ate with his disciples at the last supper. Fifty knights were chosen by Merlin to belong to the order, which seems to be imagined as being fixed in the city of Carduel (Carlisle). One seat remains empty, which Merlin says will be in time filled by the son of Alain le Gros, who is presumably Perceval.

    An archaic English translation is found at http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cm... chapter III, page 58. You can also read a modern English translation of a medieval Spanish adaptation of this work at http://members.terracom.net/~dorothea/baladro/inde... starting about halfway through chapter 14.

    In one sequel to this work, often called the “Didot Perceval”, the Round Table is uniquely said to have seats for only twelve knights, plus the one empty seat. Perceval sits in the empty seat before he is ready, bringing a curse on his grandfather the rich fisherman which he must then remove. See http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/... for a translation.

    In the “Perlesvaus”, the Round Table apparently came to Arthur along with his wife Guenevere. Upon the death of their son, and Guenevere’s own death, a kinswoman named Jandree demands that Arthur either marry her instead or return the Table to her brother Madeglant to whom it now rightfully belongs. See http://omacl.org/Graal/, Branch XXVI, Title VII.

    The great “Prose Lancelot” also claims that the Round Table and its 150 Knights were given to Arthur by King Leodegan, the father of Guenevere as “the noblest wedding gift ever given”. It seems to be still somewhat independent of Arthur, as the knights can decide things on their own and carry out projects on their own. Here also one seat remains empty. A knight from Gaul who sits in it, vanishes. Perceval is seated next to this seat, but not in it. Only in the “Quest of the Holy Grail”, which is a sequel of the “Prose Lancelot”, does Galahad, sit in the void seat.

    According to another sequel to the “Merlin” usually known as the “Vulgate Merlin”, the order was founded by Uther Pendragon, but the knights had left Logres (England) and taken service under King Leodagan because of the disloyalty they had found in the land after Uther's death. In this account their are 250 seats at the Round Table. See http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=cm... .

    The Alano-Sarmation hypothesis of Dr. Linda Malcor is only one of many hypotheses about the origin of Arthurian legend. No single hypothesis is accepted by most scholars. General opinion is that none of them are yet near to being proved. Linda Malcor was at one time very active in the Arthurnet discussion group, but she and a small group of followers made general discussion of Arthurian legend almost impossible. See http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/jshoaf/arthurmalcor.... . You can see examples of Linda Malcor’s posting and judge for yourself by looking up http://lists.mun.ca/archives/arthurnet.html and searching on “Malcor”.

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  • RAZNA
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    King Arthur is now thought to have been a real person, a Celtic ruler in Britain about the time of the last Romans in Britain, say during the rule of Claudius as emperor. In the stories as preserved, however, he was shown as a medieval king of a disunited Britain who was trying to bring the country together. The purpose of the table being round was that in those days rank was shown by whoever sat closest to the king and the foot of the table was lowest in rank. By making the table round, this system was thwarted, making all equal in rank, all equidistant from one another. Merlin was the sorcerer in the medieval tales, but he was the religious adviser in the original tales, which were pre-Christian (so he might have been an ancient priest of the Druidic type, or a shaman). Some of the Arthurian tales have interesting parallels in the lore of some people of the Caucasus mountains, the Ossetes, as shown in an article in the "Journal of American Folklore" (I think this was in the 1970s but you'd have to check this online). The author proposes that some warriors from the Caucausus were posted to Britain by the Romans and they provided the source of these legends. This was the basis of the recent movie in which the warriors are Sarmatians. However, it is far more likely that these elements are much older and come from the Proto-Indo-European culture which gave rise to the Celts, the Sarmatians, and to a great many other cultures between these two as well, all of which you can look up on Google. Some of the famous characters in Arthurian legend include Bedevere, Guinevere (Arthur's queen), Sir Lancelot (who loved Guinevere), and the virtuous Parsival who even had an opera written about him. Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote an early version of the Arthurian tales in his history, called "The History of the Kings of Britain." One of the most famous versions is the more modern "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White. It has this name because at his death Arthur was thought to have been carried off to the Blessed Isles in the west where he was only waiting for Britain to need him, when he would return, Christ-like, to rescue his homeland again.

    Source(s): MS sociology, minor in anthropology with emphasis on folklore; always a fan of Arthurian legend -- start at Wikipedia but check each of the footnotes as they tell the REAL stories
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  • 1 decade ago

    Merlin supposedly created it. Look up the Seige Perilous. Henry the eighth, whose father Henry the Seventh or Henry Tudor was, in essence, Welsh and so may have been a descendent of King Arthur, had his own round table. Information here:

    http://www.hants.gov.uk/greathall/great-hall2.html

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  • 1 decade ago

    I know that a big debate is whether there was really a round table or if it was a differently shaped table which was called round to show equality to all sitting at it and speaking.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    according to some stories it was part of gwen's dowry and could seat 150 knights

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