Idylls of the King - Arthur as a Christ Figure

Topics: King Arthur, Mordred, Jesus Pages: 3 (1284 words) Published: December 10, 2006
In many literary stories, the protagonist is portrayed as a Christ figure. Such is the case in Idylls of the King, written by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The protagonist, Arthur, is portrayed as a Christ figure in three ways: as a king who desires law and order, as a king with questioned paternity, and as a king who was betrayed. Throughout Arthur's life, he exemplified characteristics that are very similar to Christ, one of these being the desire for law and order. Arthur established order by defeating the barbarians in the country. Through this act, Arthur "… drew in the petty princedoms under him, fought, and in twelve great battles overcame the heathen hordes and made a realm and reigned" (Idylls of the King, "The Coming of Arthur," pg. 19, lines 514-518). After he defeated the barbarians, Arthur established a code of chivalry for his knights to follow. This code includes how to act concerning the church, women, and any weakness. It also includes how to act in order to uphold ones own honor. Finally, as a final act to establish law and order, Arthur began the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur bound these knights "by so straight vows to his own self that when they rose knighted from kneeling, some were pale… some flushed… and others dazed" (Idylls of the King, "The Coming of Arthur," pg. 12, lines 261-265). Jesus also desired law and order in his kingdom. He defeated death when He rose from the dead after being crucified. He established law by reinforcing the Ten Commandments and other laws. These two kings had several similarities in their desire for law and order. Both kings defeated a major threat of evil in their domainp. Once the threat of evil was gone, they united their kingdom. Finally, when there was somewhat a sense of order, they established laws and morals for the people of their kingdoms to follow. This desire for law and order is one obvious characteristic in Arthur that shows him as a Christ figure. Another way Arthur was portrayed as a Christ...
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