King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

April 25, 2008
The book King Arthur and His Knights, written by Howard Pyle, tells the story of one of the most well known kings in legend, King Arthur. In the beginning of the story, Arthur must prove that he can become a noble king. It was a difficult time for Arthur, who did not feel that he could take on the task. In fact, very few people thought he could become a king. With the help of characters such as the wizard Merlin, Sir Gawain and Sir Lancelot, King Arthur became one of the most legendary kings ever known. As the story progresses, he becomes more confident and learns what it takes to rule a kingdom. His bravery, honor and love shine throughout the book. Good. You have a great introduction with a strong thesis statement.)

During his life time, King Arthur was known for his great bravery. After one of his first major encounters, during which he suffered a great defeat, his desire to return to fight King Pellinore illustrates his gallantry. Merlin remarks to him “Thou art, assuredly, a very brave man to have so much appetite for battle, seeing how nigh thou camest unto thy death not even four days ago” (65). He went on boldly to defeat Pellinore despite mortal wounds. His bravery was further exemplified in many other quests in which he would defeat countless other knights both of great skill and magical powers. The fearlessness of the king of Camelot would ensure him a place in legend and literature for centuries.

Throughout his adventures, King Arthur displayed great honor, both during the trials of kinghood and the tribulations of his many magical quests. In one instance while he battles Sir Accalon, he is sorely wounded and near death. However, he cannot yield to any knight because of his royalty. Upon being felled by Accalon, he exclaims “Nay, Sir Knight, I may not yield myself unto thee for I would liever die with honor than yield myself without honor” (195). He was willing to die for his principles as a king and for the reputation of the kingdom. This illustrates his honor, both in his concern for his kingdom and his apprehension for his personal reputation.

King Arthur was willing to lower himself to the status of a gardener's boy just to abide near the one he loves, Queen Guinevere. Merlin creates a magic cap that will disguise Arthur, so he can work in the Queen's garden unobserved. Merlin prepares the disguise, saying “…I will cause thee to be so disguised that no one in all the world shall be able to know thee who thou art” (82). King Arthur later overcomes six knights for Guinevere's glory and sends them back to serve her for one week's time. King Arthur, still unknown to Guinevere, is willing to do anything to win her love and remain by her side. This illustrates his selfless love, not only for his wife, but also for his knights.

Known for his bravery, honor, and love, King Arthur's legend has become a beloved tale throughout the world. Howard Pyle's rendition of Arthur's many noble traits illustrates the selflessness a king should have for his people. It was for these traits that Arthur would become known as the greatest king in Britain. He conquered many enemies and made many alliances, becoming a terrific success. As Pyle states upon Arthur's assumption of the throne, “any man may be a king in that life in which he is placed if so be he may draw forth the sword of success from out of the iron of circumstance” (35). The character and integrity of Arthur are well worth studying.

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Crazygirl1002 said...
Oct. 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Great on my way to begin my newspaper report and finish with a good grade
Saphirra said...
Sept. 19, 2011 at 10:01 am
Very well written :D I now await a trip to the bookstore :D
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