Watch King Arthur: History and Legend Online

King Arthur: History and Legend

Where to Watch King Arthur: History and Legend

King Arthur in the 21st Century and Beyond
Conclude by assessing the roles of the Arthurian legend in modern culture. Consider the associations of the saga in merchandising and the commercialization of historical sites, as well as its uses in pop culture and media.

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Camelot Comes to Hollywood
From the wealth of Arthurian cinema, investigate major film portrayals of the legend from recent decades. In particular, learn about the brilliant satire of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the weighty symbolism of John Boorman's Excalibur, the modern-day Grail narrative of The Fisher King, and the achievements and shortcomings of Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur.

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Once and Future--The 20th-Century Arthur
Among significant 20th-century treatments of the saga, begin with T.H. White's The Once and Future King and its ruminations on kingship, power, and governance. Also explore Mary Stewart's highly original Merlin Trilogy, Marion Zimmer Bradley's feminist The Mists of Avalon, and the brilliant comic book series Camelot 3000.

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Wagner and Twain--King Arthur in the Late 1800s
In his two overtly Arthurian operas, observe how Richard Wagner adapted and modified the Arthurian legend to dramatize social and religious ideals, linking these ideals with Germany itself. On our own shores, grasp how Mark Twain satirized the saga in Connecticut Yankee, critiquing both European aristocracy and American society.

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Idylls of the King--The Victorian Arthur
The 19th century witnessed an explosion of interest in the legend. Learn about the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose Idylls of the King inaugurated a new era of Arthurian writing and scholarship.

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Spenser, Milton, and the Renaissance Arthur
In a relatively sparse era of Arthurian literary output, trace noteworthy currents of the saga in Spenser, Milton, and the work of Renaissance historians. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, note the rise of Arthur's presence in popular ballads, songs, and poetry, and his remarkable portrayal on the stage in English and Cornish.

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Arthuriana in Medieval Art
Uncover rich depictions of Arthurian scenes in cathedrals and churches across Western Europe, as well as in privately commissioned artworks, and grasp why such scenes proliferated in religious settings. Learn also how a massive table, once believed to be the actual Round Table of King Arthur, was put to symbolic use by British royalty.

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The Holy Grail from Chr©tien to Dan Brown
No physical object in the Arthurian canon carries more symbolic weight than the Holy Grail. Discover the origins and varied manifestations of the Grail, explore the most celebrated of the literary Grail narratives, and investigate why the Grail has fired the imagination of writers from the medieval world to the modern one.

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Enriching the Legend--Tristan and Isolde
The Celtic legend of Tristan and Isolde was assimilated as a key element of the Arthurian tradition. Study the narrative of the Tristan story as it emerged in two distinct literary traditions, and grasp how the story's appeal led to Sir Tristan being "co-opted" as a knight of the Round Table.

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Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur
Thomas Malory's massive retelling of the Arthurian saga became a benchmark for all writers who came after him. Learn how Malory's text introduced the Pentecostal Oath, a sacred code of ethics sworn to by the knights, which Malory "tests" throughout the narrative as a model for noble thought and action.

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The Alliterative Morte Arthure
In this dramatic culmination of the saga, study the events of Arthur's military victory over Rome, and his ensuing degeneration from noble king to ruthless conqueror. Reflect on the poignant final meeting of Mordred and Gawain, the story's bleak denouement, and the poet's implicit message regarding Arthur's character and the nature of war.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Delve into the fascinating narrative of this highly sophisticated poem, following the great Sir Gawain through elaborate plot twists on his quest to fulfill an astonishing challenge. Investigate the meaning of his journey, and consider the important questions it raises concerning free will, loyalty, shame, and honor.

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The Arthurian Sagas of Scandinavia
Follow the legend of Arthur into the literary traditions of medieval Iceland and Norway. Learn how Norwegian king H¡kon H¡konarson commissioned adaptations of Arthurian works into Old Norse, and explore distinct differences in ethos, sensibility, and emphasis between the Continental and Scandinavian versions of the knightly saga.

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King Arthur's Other German Adaptations
Numerous other German writers made their marks on the legend of Arthur. Among them, contemplate Gottfried von Strassburg's masterful text on the Tristan legend, Ulrich von Zatzikhoven's elaborate treatment of Lancelot, Wirnt von Grafenburg's story of the adventure quest of Wigalois, and Heinrich von dem T¼rlin's encyclopedic saga The Crown.

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The Early German Arthurian Tradition
Study the key Arthurian texts of Hartmann von Aue, which delve deeply into questions of the balance between noble love, knightly endeavor, and devotion to God. Then grasp the brilliance of Wolfram von Eschenbach's portrayal of Parzival's wisdom quest, involving the magical Grail stone and the legendary Fisher King.

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The Lancelot-Grail Cycle
This lecture explores the remarkable 13th-century work known as the Prose Lancelot. Discover the text's five parts, highlighting the central section, where Lancelot assumes his place as the greatest Arthurian knight.

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Arthurian Tales in Brittany and Burgundy
Here, encounter the works of Marie de France, whose Arthurian writings developed themes of romantic love, the magical, and the noble. Then learn how Robert de Boron linked King Arthur to the spiritual and religious realms and introduced the Holy Grail, which figures prominently in the massive, anonymous text of the Perlesvaus.

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Chr©tien de Troyes and Sir Lancelot
This great Arthurian writer introduced elements of the legend that would become essential. Learn how de Troyes pioneered the genre of the medieval romance, developed the ethos of courtly love in his writings, and introduced the great heroic figure of Lancelot and his adulterous love of Guenevere.

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The Round Table--Arthur in Wace and Layamon
Discover the contributions of the Anglo-Norman scribe Wace, who translated Geoffrey of Monmouth's text into Old Northern French, and the English cleric Layamon, who created the first comprehensive account of Arthur in English. Compare how Wace advances the notion of courtly chivalry in the saga with Layamon's more brutal portrayal of Arthur's community.

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Monmouth, Merlin, and Courtly Love
Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain is arguably the most important literary artifact of the Arthurian tradition. Learn about the political nature of the text, the important elements and characters that Geoffrey wove into it, and how he established the basics of the Arthurian legend as we know it.

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King Arthur in Wales--The Mabinogion
Grasp how Arthur became a cultural touchstone early in Welsh history. In texts such as the Black Book of Carmarthen and the Triads of the Island of Britain, uncover key references to the Arthurian saga.

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King Arthur in the Latin Chronicles
Now explore some of the most significant early witnesses to the Arthurian legend. In Latin texts by the chroniclers Gildas (6th century) and Nennius (9th century) and in the Welsh Annales Cambriae, study accounts of Arthur's exploits and death in battle.

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An Arthur-Like Figure in Cornwall
Investigate archaeological and historical evidence that support the existence of an Arthur-like figure in early Britain. Learn about the site of Cadbury Castle, the center of operations of a leader of great military and logistical skill who thwarted the Saxon invasion.

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The Origins of King Arthur
First, consider images of the Arthurian legend familiar in Western culture, and their relationship to historical reality. Trace the history of post-Roman Britain, the large-scale invasions of the Anglo-Saxons, and evidence that a single, extraordinary individual rose from the chaos to lead and save his people.

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King Arthur: History and Legend is a captivating educational program produced by The Great Courses in 2015. An engrossing blend of historical fact, engaging storytelling, and scholarly analysis, the series seeks to separate truth from myth in the vast body of literary and historical material associated with King Arthur, regarded as a legendary British leader who supposedly led the defense of Britain against the Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.

Designed to inspire, educate and entertain the history enthusiast and armchair scholar, King Arthur: History and Legend is comprised of 24 half-hour lectures. The series dives deep into the mythological and historical underpinnings of the Arthurian legend. Expertly helmed by Professor Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, an acclaimed scholar in medieval literature and Arthurian legend, the lectures strike a balance between academic rigor and accessibility for the everyday viewer.

The course starts by setting the foundations, offering viewers a background on the historical, theological, and literary contexts from which the Arthurian Legends emerged. It delves into the origins of Arthurian Legend, exploring clues about the likelihood of Arthur's historical existence. The lectures consider both sides of the debate - the skepticism of modern scholars who see Arthur as a mythological figure, and the enduring belief of others in Arthur's historical authenticity.

King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, Merlin, Queen Guinevere, and the Holy Grail: names and symbols synonymous with literary legend and romantic medievalism. This course explores these characters and themes in great depth, examining seminal works of Arthurian literature such as Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, Chretien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, along with other anonymous medieval texts and modern interpretations.

The show guides viewers on how the Arthurian Legend was curated, molded, and expanded from the Middle Ages to Modern times. It unpicks not just the myth of King Arthur, but the context in which the myth was told, the purpose it served, and the reality it may have been based on.

The course also navigates the Arthurian Legend's metamorphosis over time. It delves into how various Arthurian tales have been adapted through different periods – the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the Victorian era, right through to contemporary times. Besides the core texts of Arthurian literature, the series also underscores the importance of the Arthurian Legend's influence in art, music, movies, and even in bureaucratic, religious, and political constructs.

Furthermore, the lectures demonstrate Arthur's importance as a symbol of national identity, particularly during periods of socio-political upheaval and uncertainty. From its origins in Celtic folklore to the romantic revival of the legend in Victorian times, the course shows how Arthur's story has been rewritten and reinterpreted in response to changing cultural contexts.

Prof. Armstrong's lectures are brilliantly structured, comprehensive, and highly engaging. Her enthusiastic and thoughtful examination of the Arthurian Legend infuses the course with a sense of lively curiosity, sparking intrigue in viewers' minds. By investigating a wide array of empirical signs, interdisciplinary scholarly debates, and comprehensive analysis of texts, it offers a panoramic view of the spectral figure of Arthur.

In King Arthur: History and Legend, viewers are encouraged to join Prof. Armstrong on an exciting intellectual quest in search of the real King Arthur while exploring the tantalizing mysteries that continue to surround this mythical figure. The course illuminates Arthur as a character who straddles the boundary between history and legend—a figure that might or might not have lived, but whose name has certainly endured.

With a potent mix of scholarship, analysis, and love for the story, King Arthur: History and Legend is more than a series of lectures. It is a comprehensive journey through time, culture, myth, literature, and history. Whether you're a history lover, literature enthusiast, or a casual viewer with an interest in the timeless tale of King Arthur, these lectures provide an essential grounding.

King Arthur: History and Legend is not merely about the exploration of history or mythology; it's an intriguing examination of cultural storytelling and its evolution—a testament to the enduring allure of the legends that shape our understanding of the past. With each lecture, the show stands as a monument to human creativity and a celebration of just how enduring and captivating a good story can be.

King Arthur: History and Legend is a series categorized as a canceled/ended. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 24 episodes, the show debuted on 2015. The series has earned a no reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at undefined.

How to Watch King Arthur: History and Legend

How can I watch King Arthur: History and Legend online? King Arthur: History and Legend is available on The Great Courses with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch King Arthur: History and Legend on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, Kanopy, Amazon online.

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