King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

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King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table 


1     Arthur waited in line to try pulling the great sword from the stone. He had no idea that King Uther, who had just died, was his real father. He had no way of knowing that he was the true heir to the throne.
2     His turn came. He gripped the huge sword, glittering with shiny metals and jewels, and slid it from its stone scabbard. That was the proof that England needed. Arthur was crowned king. "Long live the king!"
3     Arthur ruled England with the guidance of his long-time guardian, Merlin the magician.
4     He had brave and loyal knights - Lancelot, Gawain, and many others.
5     King Arthur's knights took their role seriously. They promised to abide by a code of rules. They promised to act bravely and with honor. They promised not to murder innocent people and to rescue ladies in distress.
6     Arthur's knights were adventurous and ambitious. They loved to meet together and tell tales of their great feats, each one trying to out-tell the other. Sometimes the competition between the exaggerating knights got to be too much.
7     So Arthur, being a wise leader, came up with a solution. Into the meeting hall of Camelot Castle, he moved the huge round table that his wife, the lovely Lady Guinevere, had brought as part of her dowry. At this round table, no knight would sit in front of another one. No one would have an advantage or a favored position. Everyone would be equal.
8     King Arthur's court at the Round Table became known far and wide as the perfect, fair way to rule. Every knight aspired to become a Knight of the Round Table and enter the meeting hall at Camelot to the fanfare of his own clanking armor.
9     When their meetings were adjourned, Arthur's knights set out from Camelot for great adventures in all corners of England.
10     Wearing their shining suits of armor and their tin-can helmets, Arthur's knights rode out to fight whoever had done them wrong. King Arthur's red dragon painted on each shield proclaimed that they were The Knights of the Round Table.
11     Back at Camelot, King Arthur presided over the forces of good in his sweeping red robe and tall golden crown. Always nearby was his own trusty sword, Excalibur, given to him by the mysterious Lady of the Lake. England was in good hands.
12     Even good King Arthur had occasional problems to deal with. Life among so many knights and ladies could be a bit dramatic. When King Arthur's own wife, Guinevere, was stolen away by his knight Lancelot, Arthur had to act at once. He fought his nephew Mordred, who had somehow gotten into the thick of the plot.
13     Arthur killed Mordred.
14     Mordred gravely wounded Arthur too, and Arthur was swiftly carried off by his own men - never to be heard from again.
15     This story may or may not be true. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table may or may not have been real people. Many historians think that there is at least a little bit of truth in the legend. The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, however, has become a part of history. The bravery and honor of the knights, the wisdom of King Arthur, and the magical effect of the Round Table - it has all become a part of the story of England.

Directions: Answer the following in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.

  1. Although it is not stated directly in the story, you can infer that this story takes place during what time period?

  2. How did Arthur become king?

  3. Who was Lancealot?

  4. How did King Arthur die?

  5. What did the round table give each knight?

  6. What was Excalibur?

  7. What was the red dragon a symbol of?

Directions: Answer the following questions in paragraph form.

  1. Which parts of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table do you think are most likely true? Which parts do you think are probably not true at all or exaggerated? 

  1. Choose one or two characters from the story. Make up an adventure starring the character or characters. It should take place in England during the early Middle Ages, so try to include details from that place and time period. 

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