The Legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

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Movies such as “King Arthur” have been made as recently as 2004, also attempting to demystify the ancient reality from romanticized, heavily Christian-influenced myth. From Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur to Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, the story of King Arthur transforms itself from a heroic, male-centric, Christian-oriented tale of great deeds to a female-oriented retelling of a decidedly non-Christian era and the rise and fall of the man who would bridge the dividing faiths. As this continuing fascination with the story begins to suggest, the meaning of the Arthurian legend reaches deep within our psyches to help us identify and define ourselves within our culture, particularly in how we relate to two key symbols – the Holy Grail and the sword of power – as they are described by the psychological theory of Emma Jung.
It can be argued, of course, that the meaning of the text does not necessarily apply to all people as only those raised within the Western tradition are exposed to the stories of King Arthur and his knights. In addition, the stories have been around for so long and told in so many different ways that each person raised within this tradition seems to have their own conception of just what is meant by these magical objects and the role that they play in helping us determine our own inner quest. However, the specificity of the legends as they are understood by various individuals is not necessarily as important as one might imagine. as the emphasis of Jungian analysis does not rest on the intentions or thoughts of the authors, but rather on the symbols that fall onto the page as a result of the author’s interaction with the collective unconscious. “The Grail motif is&nbsp.interiorized by the individuals who are caught by its spell.&nbsp. It is singular, celibate. finally sterile”