“Deconstructing Arthur”

Glenda Davis returns to present a 4-part series this fall titled Deconstructing Arthur.  Beginning Sept. 10th the series will run consecutively every Sunday at 2:00 pm ending October 1st.  Topics discussed will be:

Sept. 10: History’s Teasers – Who was Arthur Pendragon, the mythical king of early Britain and focus of so many works of art and literature? Perhaps he never existed, but perhaps he did.  If such a man truly emerged in the days after Rome abandoned the Isle, chances are good that he never drew a sword from a stone, wore medieval French armor or lived in a castle called Camelot. What is more interesting in many respects is to take a look at historical hints of who this leader might have been and why he holds such an important position in British heritage.

Sept. 17: Druid Mysteries – The Druids were nature worshipers who roamed the British Isles and came into direct conflict with early Christians during and just after the Roman occupation. Tale of their power and teachings are strongly associated with Cornwall and Wales, also the stronghold of Arthurian legends. It is little wonder that the two are so closely intertwined.  In most of the earlier stories Arthur is, himself, a pagan and under the influence of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake, the Druid leaders.  Even his right to the throne is a gift from the great Merlin, master magician and chief advisor.

Sept. 24: Christian Usurpers – With the widely spreading influence of Christianity, many of the Druid influence faded, but the people still loved their legends. To integrate these two belief systems, Christian components were added to the stories, particularly focusing on the quest for the Holy Grail which legend claims was brought to England by Joseph of Aramathea.  What better assignment for the pure and noble knights of the Round Table than to locate and bring to Camelot the cup Christ drank from at the last supper?  You might be surprised to hear just how many Druidic traditions Christianity “borrowed”.

Oct. 1: Breton Invasion – The French idea of courtly love and romance dominated the literary culture of Middle Ages. It was a time of jousting knights, tournaments, beautiful damsels offering favors, and love springing up in a culture where arranged marriages were the norm.  Once again, the Arthurian legends take a turn as Launcelot appears to fill the role of Arthur’s First Knight and Guinevere’s Queen’s Champion. Trouble is bound to follow when Arthur’s illegitimate son, Mordred, casts doubt on the relationships between the three. As with all good tales, the price must be paid for personal indiscretions and political treason.

Sponsored by the Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation