Universal Human Experience in Arthurian Legend

Topics: King Arthur, Mordred, Uther Pendragon Pages: 3 (974 words) Published: August 7, 2008
In life irony has a strange way of working its way into the lives of people silently, slowly and unexpectedly. Irony will creep up, make its presence known, depart as quickly as it came and leave a person in awe of the twist that is causes in their life. In Arthurian Legend the acts of self-interest or selfishness, by the characters, ironically leads to their self-destruction in the end. Like the Arthurian Legends, acts of selfishness and an ironic twist of that act has lead to the destruction of numerous amounts of people overtime in history, modern time and events that I’ve witnessed personally.

All though there are several stories about King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere the underlying theme of selfishness and self-destruction can be seen throughout the books and movies. In the very beginning of the story when Uther is seeking to “lay beside” Igraine and calls on Merlin to do his magic, Uther is acting extremely selfish and in his interest only. He desires to sleep with her and Merlin grants him this wish with the condition that the offspring that the act would produce would be his. Uther, like most people who are only acting in their interest, agrees to the condition and gets to sleep with Igraine. The reason this act is considered selfish is because him sleeping with Igraine has no bearing on the greater good of the country or helping Uther, other than satisfying his sexual desires.

The irony of the situation is that after Uther sleeps with Igraine he becomes ill, dies and leaves his country that he loved to be ravished and lawless without an heir to rule the kingdom. His offspring was taken by Merlin to be raised and to one day lead the country and be a great ruler. Interestingly, Arthur would act in selfishly and this messing with fate would ultimately lead to his demise and heartache. When Lancelot enters the picture and is fighting Arthur and he has an advantage over Arthur it is Arthur that calls on Merlin to work his magic to give him the...
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