Jan 24, 2008

Famous Swords: Excalibur

I've decided to begin a new installment of blogs, entitled "Famous Swords". These blogs will reference facts and myths about the blades and their respective owners. I've tried to keep the narratives short and to the point (HAHA) for the benefit of those not inclined to reading lengthy accounts of history (like my wife). And if this series follows the path of my "Punctuation Marks" series, it will be short-lived and incomplete. Enjoy!

Where else could we begin? The legends of King Arthur include his establishment as England's king through the sword in the stone episode, the advice of the wizard Merlin, the castle Camelot, the institution of the fellowship of the Round Table, the quest for the Holy Grail and numerous magical adventures.

There are two originally separate legends about the sword's origin. The first is the “Sword in the Stone” tale, in which Excalibur can only be drawn from the stone by Arthur, the rightful king. In the second, Arthur draws a separate sword from the stone, and instead receives Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake after breaking his first sword in a fight with King Pellinore. The Lady of the Lake calls the sword “Excalibur” and Arthur takes it from a hand rising out of the lake. On his deathbed, he asks Sir Bedivere to throw Excalibur back into the lake. Before the sword strikes the water's surface, a hand reaches up to grasp it and pulls it under.

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