King Arthur - The Utopian King

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King Arthur - The Utopian King

<p>King Arthur stands as the ideal – albeit flawed and tragic – of kingly virtues from a past golden age. This essentially British story is drawn from history and folklore, moulded by successive

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King Arthur stands as the ideal – albeit flawed and tragic – of kingly virtues from a past golden age. This essentially British story is drawn from history and folklore, moulded by successive retellings by writers such as Thomas Malory and T.H. White, and adapted into multiple forms, because the stories and ideas are so compelling. How can a person be the ideal king, or the ideal knight? What are the obstacles to virtue? There have been other legendary kings, but these are not connected to a common root story but by a common human desire, a dream of Camelot.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Le Morte d’Arthur, Thomas Malory
  • The Once and Future King, T. H. White


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Sources: Historical origins, Follkloric connections
  • Evolution of the text: The Mabinogion, Nennius History of Britain, Geoffrey of Monmouth History of the Kings of Britain, Chrétien of Troyes, Thomas Malory Le Morte d’Arthur, Alfred, Lord Tennyson Idylls of the King, T. H. White The Once and Future King
  • Stories and characters
  • Relationships
  • Meanings, symbolism, allegory
  • Representations: Women, The Other, Virtue, Ideal governance and society
  • Adaptations: Poems, Novels, Art, Films, Television
  • Theme of a Utopian King
  • Other legendary kings: Prester John and Fisher King, King David and King Solomon, Zeus, Odin, Rama and Akbar, Conchobar
  • Sleeping Knights legends
  • The ideal king: Spiritual, Significance of Arthur in popular culture, What stands in the way of the ideal?


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Outline the historical origins of King Arthur.
  2. Describe some of the folkloric antecedents of the ideal king.
  3. Outline the evolution of the King Arthur legend.
  4. Describe the plots and major characters of the stories.
  5. Identify symbolic meanings within the stories.
  6. Relate the story of King Arthur to other legends of ideal kings.
  7. Evaluate the representations of ideals and groups of people in the stories.
  8. Identify the tropes and motifs of King Arthur stories when they are evident in other forms/texts.
  9. Want to read Malory, Mabinogion, TH White, and other adaptations.
  10. Form a connection with some of the Arthurian stories.