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The Excalibur sword is a cornerstone of Middle Age lore, but few people know the true story behind the blade. Sure, we’ve seen “Wart” pull the sword from the stone in the classic Disney cartoon, but what’s the real legend behind the quasi-mythical blade? In fact, some people debate if the Sword in the Stone and Excalibur are even the same weapon.
According to legend, Excalibur is the blade that King Arthur used in battle. And in some legends, the sword wields magical powers. There are dozens of versions and variations of the tale; you are basically left to your own devices to cater the story in whatever way you please. Personally, I prefer the grandiose version, where Arthur pulls mighty Excalibur from the stone, leading to his staunch defense against the Saxon forces.
Imaginations have been stimulated for years by the Arthurian legend—a young boy who removed a beautiful sword from a stone and became a magical king. Numerous novels and poetry have been penned about this exciting story. Some of the most well know writings are LeMorte de Arthur, The Once and Future King, and The Idyls of the King.
In the present day many movies have been presented about the legend. Some of the most recent are First Knight, The Mists of Avalon and perhaps the most well known movie of all, Camelot. There are many more movies based on this legend spanning back many years.
What is so inspirational about this early myth? Is it perhaps the belief that there is something bigger and better than our present situation? Or does the myth continue to inspire because the story is magical for everyone? The history includes an honorable leader, a beautiful queen, a magical right hand man and a cabinet of fearless knights.
Merlin, Arthur’s advisor, mentor and Vice President coached him so well that he was so advanced that he could pull a magical sword from a heavy stone. Merlin naturally became King Arthur’s major advisor because the magician made Arthur the King. As his closest advisor, Merlin was capable of turning anyone who disagreed with his King into a frog or even worse–a slimy snake. With Excalibur, Merlin and his band of mighty knights or generals, Arthur could defeat any enemy.
Eventually all good things come to an end. Camelot fell due to corruption from within. Arthur was defeated and the kingdom disintegrated. Although Arthur died and the perfect nation was no more, lore instills the hope that Arthur will someday return.
I certainly would like to live under Arthur’s leadership. If I hear of an individual that pulls a sword from a stone, it would get my attention. I do not think that will ever happen, but if I became aware of any leader who put his nation’s interest above his own political ambitions that act alone will be about as close to Arhur’s leadership as we will ever get.
Does your child hate history and think that its study is a waste of time? Most young children cannot understand the reasoning behind studying something that occurred many years ago.
All children seem to love a particular movie or game that has a historical significance, such as The Lord of the Rings, Excalibur, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, or whatever holds your child’s attention. My first venture into attempting to teach my child the value of history was the story of King Arthur and his great sword, Excalibur.
Although this is an allegory and a legend that owes its birth to a poet who wrote the story for Eleanor of Aquitaine, an early Queen of England, it certainly has relevance in this day and time. The magic of an ordinary young boy, Arthur, possessing the power to pull a beautiful jeweled sword from a stone, and in doing so, becoming the King of his country will hold a young child’s attention.
To make the story more entertaining, I bought a replica Excalibur sword. It was made of a material that was safe for a child. The name of the maker of this sword type of sword is Denix. Now latex swords, shields and even helmets are available for purchase.
There are many lessons that a child can take from the story of Camelot. However, there are some lessons that are too mature for a youngster. I read to my son selected stories from Sir Thomas Malory’s edition of Le Morte D’Arthur. There are now many volumes that are directed toward a child.
Excalibur, the sword King Arthur received from The Lady of the Lake, is one of the most well known swords the world over. While there are several other weapons mentioned in legend, Excalibur is the most well known. Based on Welsh legend, the Excalibur was often said to possess magical powers. The Excalibur sword has appeared in hundreds of different sources of contemporary media and fiction. Excalibur is a weapon of great power that appears in video games, it’s also often referenced in popular fiction, and most if not all films based in the time of King Arthur make mention of Excalibur at some point or another. In England, there are several historical locations that pay tribute to Excalibur, and while the real sword might have never existed, the mythology that surrounds it is quite palpable.
Some have suggested that the legend of Excalibur is based on Norse mythology, which has several swords and weapons of legend including Gram, a sword that Sigurd used to defeat the dragon Fafnir.