King Arthur and His Knights | Sunday Observer

King Arthur and His Knights

King Arthur and his Knights by Howard Pyle is a re-telling of the famous legend. The novel begins with the description of the evil King Vortigern who has usurped the throne of Britain by killing its rightful king. But Aurelius and Uthur who are the sons of the rightful heir to the British throne revenge their father’s murder by killing Vortigern. Aurelius reigns for a while and after he passes away Uthur becomes King. A powerful magician named Merlin predicts the birth of the powerful Prince Arthur to King Uthur and his wife Igerna who is the widow of the Duke of Cornwall. Merlin asks King Uthur to give him baby Prince Arthur and he in turn gives the baby prince to a Lord named Sir Ectus to be raised as his own son. On his death bed, In the presence of Merlin, King Uthur gives his blessings for his son Prince Arthur to become king after him.

But there is much discontent among the Lords who themselves aspire to become king and Prince Arthur’s ascension to the throne is fraught with difficulty. Merlin devises a test by which only the rightful heir to the throne can pull the magical sword Excalibur from the stone and Prince Arthur is the only young man in Britain who succeeds in pulling the enchanted sword, and he is subsequently crowned as the King of Britain. King Arthur is given the Round Table on his marriage to Guinevere by her father.

There are many adventures in the novel and the most intriguing adventure is the powerful Knight Sir Lancelot’s encounter with the evil witch Morgana le Fay. The most important part of the novel is the quest for the Holy Grail. Sir Galahad, Sir Percival and Sir Bors are the three chosen knights who find the Holy Grail.

Pyle’s novel re-tells the adventures of chivalrous knights who protect and defend the weak, poor, oppresssed and women as espoused by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.