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he haz deh eskalabur DUH!
Are there answer choices?
This is the first book I've read about Arthur so I don't know much besides the movies and "general" myth. So my question is, what makes Arthur so special? He doesn't seem to have any special abilities (ie. like how Lancelot is the greatest knight). And in Once and Future King, he almost seems incompetent, the way he doesn't know what to do and how he always wants Merlin to tell him what to do. Plus, everything he tries to do seems to fail (we can go into spoilers about how he failed if people want). Furthermore, what makes Excalibur so special? The sword doesn't seem to have any special powers (besides only allowing Arthur to pull it out of the stone). It is virtually ignored in the rest of the book after that. What am I missing? reply | flag * message 2: by Brad T. (new) Nov 16, 2010 05:01AM Its Arthur's vision that makes him special. In Arthurian legends, (putting this book aside), Arthur unites a diverse people to create Camelot, the center of learning, politics, education and enlightenment and creates a political body much like a democracy where everyone gets a vote. i think that Arthur appeals to us (when I say us, I mean Americans) because it is the ideal that we want for our society. In the time of JFK's presidency, Washington DC was referred to as Camelot because JFK was a uniting force that made Americans feel as if the vision of a perfect democracy was right around the corner. (ok I know that can be argued to death) Excalibur is the symbol of power that tells a superstitious people that Arthur is recognized by God as the leader of Britain. For those of us who played D&D in our youth, it is the vorpal sword of all vorpal swords so I think that most people think that Excalibur is more of a powerful blade than it was portrayed in the books. reply | flag * message 3: by Sean (new) Nov 16, 2010 10:42AM Brad wrote: "Its Arthur's vision that makes him special. In Arthurian legends, (putting this book aside), Arthur unites a diverse people to create Camelot, the center of learning, politics, education and enligenlightenment and creates a political body much like a democracy where everyone gets a vote.... Excalibur is the symbol of power that tells a superstitious people that Arthur is recognized by God as the leader of Britain." I didn't vote fer 'im. 'ow 'e'd become king? reply | flag * message 4: by Brad T. (new) Nov 16, 2010 12:21PM by pulling the sword, d'uh. :) reply | flag * message 5: by Noel (new) Nov 17, 2010 12:59PM So that's how Arnie became the Governator. reply | flag * message 6: by Sean (new) Nov 17, 2010 03:09PM Brad wrote: "by pulling the sword, d'uh. :)" That's no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical ceremony. reply | flag * message 7: by Brad T. (new) Nov 17, 2010 04:29PM I didn't write the book. Take it up with Mr White and Mr Disney. reply | flag * message 8: by Noel (new) Nov 18, 2010 05:51AM Sean wrote: "Brad wrote: "by pulling the sword, d'uh. :)" That's no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical ceremony." Call me a cynic but it's probably just as effective and possibly less corrupt than our current system. Cheaper too. Mmmmm wonder if I should give it go. I am well qualified as I have big biceps and a small brain. reply | flag * message 9: by Patrick (new) Nov 18, 2010 12:18PM You can't claim supreme Executive Power, just because some watery tart lobs a sword at you reply | flag * message 10: by Noel (new) Nov 18, 2010 12:32PM Hehehe depends who the watery tart is. Does she have water wings? reply | flag * message 11: by Stan (last edited Nov 18, 2010 02:48PM) (new) Nov 18, 2010 02:42PM Paul wrote: "..So my question is, what makes Arthur so special? He doesn't seem to have any special abilities..." You obviously have not gotten to the part where Arthur saves the land of Camelot with his adamite claws and pulsing laser eye blasts from the evil, yet shapely, magic wielding Morgan Le Fey in her leather spandex tights. (yes - I said "leather spandex") @Patrick - http://lh5.ggpht.com/_GrovFYrbpWo/Ra9... reply | flag * message 12: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new) Nov 23, 2010 07:50PM Mod Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away. reply | flag * message 13: by Sandi (new) Nov 23, 2010 09:32PM Tom wrote: "Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away." That's from a 21st Century perspective. Back in the day, the strongest person was the most virtuous and most worthy. That's why disputes were settled in duels and jousts. Forget years of litigation in the courts, just fight it out in the jousting arena. It was a wacky system, but it was the system they had. reply | flag * message 14: by Al (new) Nov 24, 2010 08:33AM ."Back in the day, the strongest person was the most virtuous and most worthy. " Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA... reply | flag * message 15: by Paul (new) Nov 24, 2010 09:18AM Sandi wrote: "Tom wrote: "Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away." That's from a 21st Century perspective. Back in the day, t..." Obviously you're not a golfer... reply | flag * message 16: by Brad T. (new) Nov 26, 2010 07:20PM epic fail on me. I missed that it was a Monty Python quote. I have no excuse, I own the movie. reply | flag * message 17: by Noel (new) Nov 27, 2010 11:09AM Hehehe I really felt stupid when Tom mentioned it on the podcast too. I love MP and the HC. It's a classic with so many quotable lines but I didn't realise that this was a quote from it. Stupid English Kniggit! reply | flag * message 18: by JohnViril (last edited Dec 04, 2012 10:49PM) (new) Dec 04, 2012 10:38PM Sean wrote: "Brad wrote: "by pulling the sword, d'uh. :)" That's no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical ceremony." WHich is exactly the argument that Mordred makes near the end of the book. I wonder if MP got it from TH White reply | flag * message 19: by JohnViril (last edited Dec 04, 2012 11:36PM) (new) Dec 04, 2012 11:01PM In Mallory's Arthur, Arthur is much more of a warrior and hero than in Once and Future King. TH White reshapes the Arthurian legend and makes Arthur much less heroic and much more prosaic. Instead, rather than heroic feats, White focuses on Arthur reshaping society. Now, White's portrayal is anachronistic, he pretty much attributes a process that took about 300 years or so AFTER the Normal Conquest to Arthur: the move from trial by combat to "law courts". Of course, Mallory is anachronistic in that he portrays a medieval jousting culture in 6th century England. Of course, L think TH White's point is that England's greatness was not based upon feats of arms, but by its social system which allowed its strong monarch to construct a world empire. reply | flag * message 20: by JohnViril (new) Dec 04, 2012 11:30PM Until just now, I never thought of WHY the transition from "Trial by Combat" to "Trial by Jury" occurred in England. Soft-scientists tend to focus on ideology, which emphasizes the importance of scholars---hence University professors often have a bias toward attributing social changes to shifts in philosophy. Yet, my guess is it has much more to do with the practical capability of the King to exercise power. Basically, in later days, the English Crown gained enough central power that it could enforce decrees simply upon it's word---and reasonably expect most to conform. The law courts give the King much more precise control over behavior, and give the king much more ability to provides incentives for behavior that solidified his power. I know I'm sorta jumping over a lot of analysis here, so I'll try to show how I came to that point. Consider the problems of the English Crown shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066 (around 7,000 Norman French nobles conquered England). Not only were you trying to rule England with 7,000 guys, for those dudes to benefit from their rewards, they had to live on scattered fiefs that they rule (remember the money economy had collapsed for many centuries later, hence King William couldn't just pay the people who helped him). Which meant the King in London didn't have one holy heck of a lot truly loyal troops to back up his decrees, and to assert that power you'd have a problem gathering them. Hence, William left most of existing legal system in place and created "King's Courts" to handle disputes between nobles (many of whom were his ex-soldiers, and others were local lords with minimal loyalty). Given these problems, just how could he expect to enforce decrees when the litigants left his courts in London and went back to their fiefs? How willing would a strong noble be to accept losing a judgment to a weaker man given that the King would take weeks to even hear about any violation much less be able to gather forces to correct it. Wouldn't the stronger man just impose his will once they returned from the King's demense? In a sense, by the King using combat as the "finder of fact" instead of a jury in the legal procedure; he was exerting his power by claiming what would occur anyway was actually at his behest. Consequently, by defining the "forms" of legal judgement (situations where legal redress from the Crown would lie), then letting the principals fight to determine "did Uncle Frim really lie or tell the truth" and then imposing monetary rewards and punishments...was the King exerting as much control as was reasonably possible. This changed when the Crown gained more central p
Isn't this question supposed to be in the History category?
Here is some information on King Aurthor King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and his historical existence is debated and disputed by modern historians. The sparse historical background of Arthur is gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur's name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the so-called Matter of Britain. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain). In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn. How much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Although the themes, events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the wizard Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, and final rest in Avalon. The 12th-century French writer Chrétien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend lives on, not only in literature but also in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics and other media.
kingarthor is a lit char
Stop trying so hard to be funny ^