Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHome Schooling · 1 decade ago

whats the diffrent between king arthur and the ancient heros ?

what are the diffrences between king arthur and the ancient heros such as Gilgemesh or achilles and how they are alike ?

i know that they are all heros who spend their life to save the people of society for the good

and that king arthur is a romance hero and the ancient heros are epic heros ?

any thing else ? any one just a little HINT ;)

1 Answer

  • Jallan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is little difference between a romance hero and an epic hero. “Romance” was a word used for the common language of the people when it was derived from Latin. That is, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian would all be all be called “Romance”. The word “Romance' was also used for a new verse style that had come into use in France, octosyllabic rhymed verse whereas the best of the earlier poems about Charlemagne are written in ten-syllable verse.

    The earlier poems were also very warlike, and more realistic, and concerned battles against the heathen or rebellions against the king. Family was very important, but love affairs were not.

    The new poems spoke about a single knight, who fought giants and monsters and other knights, often for the sake of love. And there was an increased sense of the marvellous, as the knight encountered magic spells and fays. Whereas the old tales generally took place in France of nearby kingdoms and to that extent at least felt realistic to those who told them, the Arthurian tales were set in a Britain that supposedly existed long before Charlemagne in which magic was everywhere.

    At the same time, those who made such tales did not greatly distinguish them from other tales that we might call epic. For example, they spoke of the Romance of Troy, though the version they knew did not come directly from Homer. But the Benoît’s “Romnce of Troy” began with the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, which is more a romance than an epic.

    Whether something is a romance or epic is a matter of degree.

    The “Iliad” and “Odyssey” are both classed as epics, but the “Odyssey” is far closer to the romances of the high middle ages, with Circe and Calypso being indistinguishable from the fays which tempt the knights in medieval romances.

    Arthur is usually not very important in these romances. He is the great king from whose court the knights set out. He may organize a wedding at the end of the tale, but Arthur’s deeds are usually outside the story of the romance. They are in the past, and his end is in the future.

    In accounts of Arthur himself, for example in chronicle histories of his reign, Arthur is very much an epic hero. See for example the Arthur of Geoffrey of Monmouth who is fighter of giants, who defeats the Saxons in numerous battles, and becomes a great conqueror. Check this out at .

    And some ancient heroes seem to be somewhat romantic. Take Theseus of Athens for example, who pulls his father’s sword out from under stone, and then walk alone across the isthmus of Corinth fighting one bandit after another. Except for the fact that he is walking, this is much like the wanderings of an ancient knight. Then like Tristan, Theseus agrees to go into captivity to fight the Minotaur to free his land from tribute. Fortunately, like an Arthurian knight, he meets a fair damsel who aids him.

    Or compare Perseus or Bellerophon. There are romantic heroes also in Greek myth.

    But wasn’t Theseus faithless? Well look at Ulrich von Zatzikoven's “Lanczelet” in which Lancelot is not in love with Guenevere, but marries four women one after the other, and eventually settles down with the third of these women. Some writers of romance verse delved into marriage, but generally the wives of knights in romances simply aren’t mentioned. Gawain, is a very popular knight, and a number of romances end with him marrying one damsel or another, but that damsel never appears again, and at the start of each romance Gawain is always single. Eventually, in the late romances, Gawain gains a reputation for being faithless.

    But think of the western heroes of cinema in the early half of the twentieth century or rode into the sunset with a particular woman at the end of the film, but in the next film they were unattached again. The audience wasn't supposed to think about that.

    Of course there were exceptions: Roy Rogers always had Dale Evans.

    But there were exceptions in the medieval romances as well. Tristan always had Iseult. And in the later tales it was inconceivable that Lancelot should have anyone but Guenevere. But Yvain seems to have lost his Lunette, Erec has lost Enidde, Yder has lost Gueneloie, Perceval as lost his Blancheflor, and even Caradoc has lost his Guignier. The knights still appear, but their ladyloves are just not mentioned.

    But the stories told of earlier heroes are often tragic. They react with one another and deaths occur. Arthurian verse romances are about happy events in May time. Yet in the later prose romances, there is any increasing emphasis on epic motifs. Mordred is not mentioned in the early verse romances, seemingly the writers did not want to any thought of Arthur’s end to darken their story.

    But in the “Prose Lancelot'' as it emerged, Lancelot's love story becomes a tragedy and Mordred appears as a character. The authors have made its sequel, the “Death of Arthur” into an epic, in which Agravain’s jealously leads to Arthur finding out about Lancelot and Guenevere’s relationship and civil war breaks out.

    The Hindu epic “Ramayana” could also be called a romance as it is an abduction story about Rama and Sita, involving fantastic elements, with Rama fighting an army of demons aided by talking monkeys and bears. But the size of the battles make them epic.

    There is no firm line between epic and romance. On the whole, the stories involving Arthur (and Dietrich von Berne) fall on the romance side, but so do some of the Charlemagne tales, and some tales of ancient heroes. The German poem “Gudrun” or “Kudrun” is generally considered more a romance compared to the “Nibelunglied” which is more epic. See . But it is also usually called an epic.

    Few would call the Arthurian romances of Chrétien de Troyes epics. See . But the later immense “Prose Lancelot” may well be referred to as an epic. People do tend to refer to short tales of the Irish hero Cúchalainn as epics, even though some of them are rather romantic.

    It is partly a matter of convention.

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