Honors | King Arthur of Britain (COLL)
C103 | 31856 | Rosemarie McGerr


DIS Th 9:05-9:55am
LEC MW 1:25-2:15pm
SB 140

Who was King Arthur? Does historical evidence for such a king exist,
or is his story pure legend? When and where do the narratives about
him first appear? Is he a conquering hero, someone who works for
peace at home and abroad, or a tragic victim of internal conflict?
What do tales of King Arthur have to do with the quest for the Holy
Grail?  What mythological, literary, and political forces have
shaped representations of King Arthur in the past and in our own
times?

This course examines major narratives about King Arthur from earlier
centuries and compares them to some of the representations of King
Arthur in the literature and films of the twentieth and the twenty-
first centuries. Readings will include the medieval Welsh tale "How
Culhwch Won Olwen," selections from the medieval Latin chronicle The
History of the Kings of Britain, the medieval French tale The Knight
of the Cart, selections from the medieval German tale Parzival, the
medieval English tale Morte DíArthur, Tennysonís nineteenth-century
poem Idylls of the King, and the twentieth-century English novel The
Once and Future King. Films studied will be Monty Python and the
Holy Grail (1974), Excalibur (1981), and King Arthur (2004).