Tag: Geoffrey of Monmouth

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Historical Presents: Fake History, Material Culture and Collective Misremembering

How and why have material things (manuscript illuminations, printed books, turf-cut chalk drawings, elaborate costumes, immense figures in papier-mâché, oak, wicker, and even latex) preserved and embellished the memory of this foundation myth, alongside centuries of destruction, ridicule, indifference, and misunderstanding?

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Queen Guinevere. A queen through time

According to Hopkins, “[Arthur’s] queen, Guinevere, is more elusive, less written about [than Arthur and his knights], and yet has been for centuries a central character playing a critical role in the rise and fall of the Round Table” (6). He goes on by characterizing her as “a key figure in the life of Camelot, this remarkable woman is seen variably as scholar, seductress, warrior, and dignified gentle beauty by the countless artists and writers who have depicted her. Who, then, was Guinevere?” (10) The purpose of this essay is to answer this question by looking at different texts and novels referring to the Queen.

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Chaucer’s Arthuriana

The majority of medieval scholars, including Roger Sherman Loomis, argue that the popularity of the Arthurian legend in England was therefore on the wane in the latter half of the fourteenth century; as a result, the major writers of the period, such as John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer, refrained from penning anything beyond the occasional reference to King Arthur and his court.

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“Hic Facet Arthurus, Rex Quondam, Rexque Futurus:” The Analysis of Original Medieval Sources in the Search for the Historica King Arthur

The heroic tales of the legendary King Arthur have survived throughout many centuries. Modern society has learned of this celebrated figure through oral and literary tradition, such as the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudo-history Historia Regum Britanniae, Sir Thomas Malory’s romantic epic Le Morte d’Arthur and medieval Arthurian poetry.

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Elements of the Arthurian Tradition in Harry Potter

Both heroes exist to save their people from doom. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, who authored Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) in 1136, Arthur ‘led his troops against the Saxons, who were still making trouble in various parts of the country, and after various vicissitudes he defeated them on a hill outside Bath, wielding a wonderful sword called Caliburn’1 (Ashe, ‘Quest’).