THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR
In 5th century, Britain was ruled by the High-King named Uther, who fell in love with Lady Igraine. Unfortunately Lady Igraine was already married to Gorlois, the Duke of Tintagel. King Uther decided to marry Lady Igraine, so he took his army, fought with Gorlois and killed him. He married his love and they had a son named Arthur.
Because this was a very dangerous time and also the time of many attacks by Saxons, King Uther gave his son to his wizard Merlin, to keep him safe. Merlin sent Arthur away to be raised in the countryside with his foster brother Kay. He never knew who his parents were.
When King Uther died, no one knew he had a son. Many people argued who will be the next king. Suddenly, a mysterious stone appeared in the yard of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It was a message on it: Whoever will pull the sword out, will be the rightful king of Britain.
Years later, when Arthur was 15 years old, his foster brother Kay, had his first knight's tournament. The family went to London. Arthur forgot to take the Kay's sword, so went to look for one. He found a sword in the stone and took it out easily. When people noticed the sword, everyone wanted to know who pulled the sword out. At first no one believed Arthur had done it. But later Arthur was crowned to be the King, even if 11 local kings would not agree and started a rebellion against Arthur.
Merlin helped Arthur to rule Britain. He took him to the magic lake. The Lady of the Lake lived there beneath the water. She gave Arthur a magic sword called Excalibur. If you used Excalibur in a fight, you would always defeat your opponent. If you had the scabbard, you would always be protected from being hurt. Arthur led a big army against 11 rebels, fought many battles and won. The 11 kings agreed Arthur should be the High-King.
Arthur set up his Royal palace at Camelot. When he was a bit older, he married a princess named Guinevere. She was the daughter of King Leodegrance of Cameliard. He gave Arthur and Guinevere a huge round table as a wedding present.
All the knights in the country wanted to be soldiers for their King, but only the bravest were allowed to sit at the round table. They were known as Knights of the Round Table. They fought against Saxons in many wars and finally defeated them at the Battle of Mount Badon. Everyone was happy and felt safe again.
Arthur decided to take his successful army even farther, to Europe. After a lot of fighting, the Roman Emperor agreed to give the western half of Europe to Arthur. The Knights of the Round Table had lots of adventures. Some rescued princesses, some fought dragons or bad knights and many of them went to look for a religious cup called the Holy Grail.
The best and the bravest of the Knights of the Round Table was called Sir Lancelot. He came from Brittany in France and was Arthur's best friend. He was also very handsome and Guinevere fell in love with him. They two would sneak away from the palace and spend time together. Arthur had no idea what was going on.
Arthur's nephew Mordred was an evil man, who found out what was going on between Guinevere and Lancelot and told Arthur. Lancelot ran away and Guinevere was taken to court where she should be burnt to death. Lancelot rescued her and they escaped to Brittany in France. Arthur took big army to Brittany. He wanted to punish Lancelot and Guinevere.
Arthur left evil Mordred in charge, while he was away in Brittany. As Arthur had no children Mordred was going to inherit the kingdom when Arthur died. He could not wait and told everyone Arthur had been killed in Brittany. People believed him and he made himself the High-King of Britain. Some people liked him because he had given away money. He even put together his own army.
Luckily, Arthur heard what was going on and returned back. The armies of Arthur and Mordred fought at the Battle of Camlann. Unfortunately, Arthur did not have his Excalibur sword with him. His sister Morgan Le Fay stole it from him. The battle was bad and few people were left alive at the end. Two of those were Arthur and Mordred. They fought each other in a single combat. Arthur killed Mordred but he was badly hurt himself.
Arthur knew he was going to die. He gave Excalibur to Sir Bedivere. He told him to return it to the magical lake. Bedivere pretended to do that, but he hid the sword under a bush. Arthur asked him what happened when he threw the Excalibur into the lake. Bedivere said it sank. Arthur knew right away he was lying. He told him to go and do the job properly. Bedivere threw the sword into the lake. He saw the hand of Lady of the Lake came out of the water to catch it.
When Arthur was dying a magical boat appeared to take him to the Isle of Avalon, where his sword Excalibur was forged and Lady of the Lake lived. Some believe that he died there soon afterwards; some say he went on mysterious island to heal his wounds.
The legend and pictures are taken from the web page:
SONG Avalon from Bryan Ferry- Roxy Music:
You can put some music as a background when discussing questions:
VIDEO documentary form Youtube:
King Arthur legend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa4v5gH3b18
part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLATxHGRqFg
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUHusSgAPOo
part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6G7KD7h5PE
part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVrPjJvIzNw
part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Muz0GCllM
The Isle of Avalon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3HAIdFy6Is
Vessel of the Fish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KryOnu5-7I
The movie King Arthur, 2004 (Clive Owen, Keira Knightley): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0349683/?ref_=sr_1