Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Associate Professor of English, Patricia Moody
Professor of Teaching Excellence in Geography, John Western
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
English Language and Literature
In all versions of Arthurian legend, the content, while encompassing adventure, magic and politics, is mainly focused on the nature of human relationships. These relationships are nearly always complex and emotional, intended to elicit certain reactions from the audience. The reactions to Arthurian legend depend on the relationship being explored; for example, when explaining a story about knighthood, the author hopes to impress upon the audience the importance and admiration of chivalry, duty and honor. Whereas, when explaining a story about the love triangle of Guinevere, Arthur and Lancelot, the intent is not only to tell a captivating and enthralling love story, but also to show the pitfalls of lust and the loss of honor.
Although Arthurian motifs have changed dramatically throughout history, as societal norms and political ideologies have evolved, Arthurian motifs have been applied to all ages. When Arthurian stories were first developed, they were not intended for just men, women or children, but for a mixed audience, which still holds true today. Arthurian motifs, regardless of their focus, have survived and will continue to survive because of the nostalgia their audience feels for them. When considering Arthurian motifs, the audience is reminded of magic, excitement, love, friendship and civic duty. All of which are pleasant concepts to be reminded.
The chameleon-like aspect of Arthurian work can be revealed, which also explains how it has been able to stay alive and will likely remain alive for quite some time, through the close analysis of authentic Arthurian narratives that range from the eleventh to the twenty-first century and have appeared in academic journals, novels, television programs and films.
Staropoli, Krista Dayle, "The Evolution of The Legend of King Arthur" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 746.
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