21L.460 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate
Medieval Literature: Legends of Arthur
Course Description
As a quasi-historical, quasi-legendary figure of consistently great popularity, King Arthur has been subject to an extraordinary amount of reinvention and rewriting: as a Christian hero and war-leader; as an ineffective king and pathetic cuckold; and as a tragic figure of noble but doomed intentions. As we trace …
As a quasi-historical, quasi-legendary figure of consistently great popularity, King Arthur has been subject to an extraordinary amount of reinvention and rewriting: as a Christian hero and war-leader; as an ineffective king and pathetic cuckold; and as a tragic figure of noble but doomed intentions. As we trace Arthur’s evolution and that of principal knights, we will ask what underlies the appeal of this figure whose consistent reappearance in western culture has performed the medieval prophecy that he would be rex quondam et futurus: the once and future king.
Learning Resource Types
group_work Projects with Examples
co_present Instructor Insights
Color illustration of King Arthur finding a giant roasting a pig that was drawn in the margins of the text, Roman de Brut, by Wace.
Drawing of King Arthur finding a giant roasting a pig. (Illustration is in the public domain from Roman de Brut by Wace, 2nd quarter of the 14th century. Courtesy of the British Library.)