Every culture has legends and heroes. In England, a well-known legend about king Arthur has been passed down through the generations. It is based upon an eighth century chief, named Arturius, who was well known for defeating the Saxons on the coast of Britain. The story of king Arthur first became an oral tradition and in the twelfth century Sir Thomas Mallory wrote it down. By this time the story was transformed into a legend in which Arthur was a king of England with a magical sword and a round table of knights. Many different authors wrote down the story of King Arthur through out the centuries. Three of the most influential stories include those of Sir Thomas Mallory in the twelfth century, Tennyson in the eighteenth century and T.H. White in the twentieth century. Although all of these authors wrote about the same topic, king Arthur, their stories vary greatly because of the influences of their time, writing styles and their language.
Sir Thomas Mallory, who lived in the twelfth century, was actually a knight himself. His story about Arthur is serious and religious. This is typical of the time period, when the church was very powerful. Mallory's story reflects the outlook of the time period. Knights lived by a code of chivalry, which was based mainly on loyalty to God and the king. Mallory wrote in Middle English. At this time there was no set way to spell certain things, so his text contains different spellings for words than those that are used in modern English. For example the word king is spelled "kyng" and father is spelled "fader."
Tennyson wrote his version of the story, titled Idylls of the King, in the eighteenth century. Tennyson was the Poet Laureate. Tennyson wrote his version in the form of an epic poem. His version is written in a more modern language, but one that still contains language forms no longer used today. His work is also serious and religious. In Morte D'Artur, Tennyson uses repetition.
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