The Hero; as the protagonist, he conquers various challenges with valour, might, and glory. He risks his life for the good of all and returns to his kingdom upon reaching manhood. This is one of the ideals of character society has strived to reach, stemmed from their beliefs and values. Many champions in myths and legends have followed this archetype, including King Arthur. Society has determined what an ideal hero is, and through these characters and their myths, their ideas reflect back to determine what kind of culture has created them. The myth King Arthur illustrates a civilization that values excellent skill, pure morality, and sagacious wisdom.
Just as the society values it, the hero, Arthur Pendragon, also exhibits it; great physical…show more content… Many different aspects of this are exemplified in the story. For example, it is said that “Arthur is King Uther Pendragon’s son, born in wedlock to Igraine, the Duke of Cornwall’s wife. / “Then Arthur is a bastard!” They [the nobles] exclaim.” (426) In the myth, the nobles at first think that Arthur is a bastard, or an illegitimate child, born from parents not wed to each other. Yet, this word is also a synonym for a despicable person. The nobles do not calmly acknowledge the fact that Arthur might have been born from adultery, but with stricken surprise. As so, this reveals that a part of the Anglo-Saxon society’s ethics, of what is right and wrong, says that unfaithfulness to a marriage is unacceptable. Likewise, after Guinevere is found out to be cheating on her husband, she is given a death sentence. Another aspect of morality that is valued in Old English culture can be seen during Arthur’s last fight, as he exclaims to his knights that he would “rather save [their] lives than rule all that Alexander possessed” (450). Arthur is acting as a quintessential hero archetype, willing to put his life down for the better of others. As the model and the ideal, King Arthur and this archetype stem from the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon population; that a pure morality means having the willingness and courage to sacrifice one’s life for the common good. In this way, the Old English