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Perchik's avatar

How can I introduce King Arthur to my roommate?

Asked by Perchik (4987points) December 7th, 2007

Earlier today I read Tennyson’s Morte d’ Arthur, (and subsequently the Idylls of the king). I thought Morte d’ Arthur was amazing, so I mentioned it to my roommate and offered to let him read it. He responded that he did not know who King Arthur was. (How he made it to college without crossing paths with Arthur, son of Uther, king of the Britons, I know not.) Where is a good point to start with the Arthurian legends? Mallory? Tennyson? T.H White? (or even Twain, with his Connecticut Yankee…?)

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9 Answers

sjg102379's avatar

The Mists of Avalon is a good other-perspective of King Arthur, but maybe more enjoyable after getting the basics?
What about starting with a movie of the musical Camelot?

Perchik's avatar

Sadly, I fear that he would get hung up on the fact that it’s a 3 hour long musical, and refuse to watch it, solely for that reason.

Supergirl's avatar

How about the Sword in the Stone? That’s where I first learned about King Arthur :) On a more serious note, following what sjg suggested—maybe a film exposing him to the characters is good place to start.

gailcalled's avatar

I second THE SWORD IN THE STONE; the first (and most enchanting and lighthearted) of the four novels that make up White’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING. I knew the mythology when I read them in my late twenties, but really loved those books. (And King Pellinore and his spoor chasing is very funny.)

MORTE and IDYLLS pretty heavy going for a jumping-off point. Twain’s CO. YANKEE more fun, I think, after your roomie gets the basic story line. And Perchik, you are right about the movie CAMELOT; it is really bloated; the Broadway stage production was much better.

jdb's avatar

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

And then Wikipedia!

ketoneus's avatar

@jdb, you’re on the right track for an intro.

After that, I would suggest John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. We did a whole unit on King Arthur in 10th grade English and this was by far my favorite.

cwilbur's avatar

Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave and its sequels are also a very good introduction.

mdy's avatar

If he likes old musicals, there’s also the 1967 movie Camelot starring Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, and Franco Nero.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was amazingly funny. But I think people would enjoy it more if they understood what was being spoofed in the first place.

siliconcalley's avatar

My favorite King Arthur book is The Once and Future King. Or you could show him the many movies there were about King Arthur, they are all really good. Like King Arthur, First Knight, Braveheart, or…. The Sword in The Stone. I would start with King Arthur or First Knight.

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