King Arthur.

Essay by maggmagooHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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King Arthur, an extraordinary warrior, lived his life trying to conquer the many lands over the huge expanse of Britain. Arthur's life was torn apart by his wife, Gwenevere's affair with his greatest knight, Lancelot du Lac. Arthur's eventual downfall was due to Gwenevere's disloyalty to him. The legend of King Arthur has been passed down from generation to generation as a source of great entertainment.

Arthur was a great leader because of his mentor, Merlin. Merlin often told Arthur what to do and when. Merlin suggested to Arthur a night attack in his battle against the eleven kings. Because Arthur took Merlin's advice the eleven kings' forces were reduced from sixty thousand to fifteen thousand. When it came to fighting, Arthur was an excellent knight. He killed hundreds of knights in many brutal battles. Because of Merlin's help and his own fighting skills, Arthur was able to conquer much of Britain.

"Sir Accolon would have killed Arthur with '...many great strokes, and for the moste parte every stroke Accolon gaff wounded him full sore. And always King Arthur loste so much blood that hit was marvayle he stode upon his feete, but he was so full of knighthood that he endured the payne. And his swerde braste at the cross and felle on the grasse among the bleed, and when he saw that, he was in grete feare to die.' However, he would not yield: '...for I promised by the feythe of my body to do this batayle to the uttermost whyle my lyff lastith, and therefore I had liver to dye with honour than to lyve with shame." (Graves p. xvii)

One thing that Merlin would not help Arthur with was his marriage. Arthur married Gwenevere, whom he loved dearly. Gwenevere was able to find a soft spot...