Watch King Arthur: History and Legend
- 1 Season
King Arthur: History and Legend from The Great Courses is a fascinating exploration into the myths and historical realities surrounding the legendary King Arthur. The course consists of twenty-four lectures by Professor Dorsey Armstrong, an expert in medieval literature and Arthurian legend.
The first lectures focus on the historical context of King Arthur, examining the various sources that mention him and the historical figures who may have inspired the legendary king. Professor Armstrong dispels some of the myths surrounding Arthur, such as the idea that he was a medieval knight in shining armor or that he single-handedly defeated the Saxons. Instead, she presents a nuanced and evidence-based picture of Arthur as a warlord who fought against invading forces in the 5th and 6th centuries, likely in the regions of present-day Wales and Cornwall.
As the course progresses, Professor Armstrong delves into the many legends that have grown up around King Arthur over the centuries. She examines the development of the Arthurian mythos, from early Welsh tales to the elaborate romances of the medieval period. This includes a detailed analysis of the major works of Arthurian literature, such as ChrÃ©tien de Troyes' Lancelot and the Arthurian legends of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Throughout the course, Professor Armstrong presents a wealth of information and analysis, both for established Arthurian scholars and for those who are new to the subject. She explores topics such as the political and cultural contexts of Arthurian literature, the symbolism and themes of Arthurian tales, and the way in which the Arthurian legend has been adapted for popular culture, including films and literature.
One interesting aspect of the course is the emphasis on the role of women in Arthurian literature. Professor Armstrong examines the nuanced and varied portrayals of women in Arthurian tales, from the scheming Morgan le Fay to the tragic Guinevere. She also explores the ways in which the portrayal of women in Arthurian literature reflects cultural attitudes towards gender and power in the medieval period.
Overall, King Arthur: History and Legend is an engrossing and informative course that provides a detailed and nuanced examination of the Arthurian mythos. Whether you are a longtime Arthurian scholar or simply interested in learning more about this legendary figure, this course is sure to fascinate and enlighten. Professor Armstrong's clear and engaging style of presentation, combined with a wealth of historical and literary insight, makes this course a must-see for anyone interested in the history and mythology of King Arthur.
King Arthur: History and Legend is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on March 5, 2015.