Archive for November, 2009
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.
Like most kids from Generation Y, my conception of medieval and fantasy themes is derived from my video gaming experiences. Growing up there were two distinct sects when it came to the realm of video games; Nintendo kids and Playstation kids. Depending on which side of the divide you fell on, you were probably either a fan of the Zelda series or the Final Fantasy series.
My loyalties were always with Nintendo, and as such I was a devout Zelda fan. I can vividly recall playing the Ocarina of Time video game for the first time and earning the first of the medieval fantasy swords in the game, the Kokiri Sword. While these reminiscences may seem trivial to many, video games are a fond memory for most of Generation Y.
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.
When I hear the name “Bowie” I immediately conjure up Ziggy Stardust and the movie Labryinth. For hunters, however, the term “bowie” is synonymous with the bowie knife. James Bowie was the first person to popularize the knife in the 19th Century, and ironically this is where David Bowie got his stage name.
Originally the bowie knife wasn’t a single design, but a series of blades that Jim Bowie was constantly improving. The defining feature of a bowie knife is its “Clip-point” tip, which gives the user enhanced control. Today bowies are mainly maintained by collectors and aficionados.