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Word Count: 522
If the name of King Arthur is mentioned I suppose what comes to mind is not so much one person as a whole array of characters and themes a montage so to speak Of course we do think first of the King the magnificent monarch of a glorified or idealized medieval realm But we think also of his Queen of the fair and wayward Guinevere we think of his enchanter Merlin who presided over his birth who set him on the throne who established him there in the early and travelled days of his reign There were the knights of the Round Table vowed to the highest ideals of chivalry and the greatest of them Sir Lancelot who of course has a tragic love affair with the Queen There is another great love story that of Tristan and Isolde the theme of Wagners Opera We think of the place where these people assembled Camelot Arthurs magnificent personal castle and capital and then there are stranger things the story of the quest for the Holy Grail giving a spiritual dimension to the whole story and there is magic Not only the magic of Merlin but the magic also of his strange ambiguous student the women the enchantress Morgan LaFay And at the end is the tragedy of Arthurs downfall his passing away at the isle of Avalon and another mystery that we do not know what really happened to him that he was said to be immortal that one day he would return and restore the golden age in his country Now of course this is all a realm of the imagination conceived by great authors in the middle ages and put in medieval garb But perhaps few people realize what a very great realm of the imagination it is how vast a literature this has been In the middle ages this was the great theme of creative writing in poetry and prose Not
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