The Round Table Knights
The Round Table Knights were a group of greatest knights who had the honour to sit at the Round Table at King Arthur’s court. According to a story, Arthur had a carpenter build the Round Table to show that no knight, not even Arthur himself was “head of the table”. All were equal and the king was just “first among equals”. The table was so large that it had enough seats for 1600 men and yet could be folded up and carried on horseback. According to another source.. Merlin the magician had the table built for Uther, Arthur’s father. Uther gave the table to King Leodegan. Later,Leodegan gave the table to Arthur after Arthur married Guenevere, Leodegan’s daughter. Still another story says that the Round Table had 12 seats around it, like the table at the Last Supper, with an empty place representing Judas’s seat. This seat was called the Siege Perilous, and was reserved for the knight so pure in heart that he would someday find the Holy Grail, the cup or dish used by Jesus at the Last Supper.Any other knight who sat in the seat would die. One day, Sir Galahad’s name appeared on the seat. From then on, he occupied the Siege Perilous .Later, as expected, he found the Holy Grail with the other two knights.
Knights considered it a great honour to have a seat at the Round Table. Brave men came to Arthur’s court from many countries hoping to become a Round Table Knight. Many stories describe the heroic deeds of various Knights of the Round Table. Several tell of the adventures of Sir Tristram and Sir Gawin. Other famous Round Table Knights included Lancelot, Bedevere, Bors, Galahad, Perceval and Modred..
The greatest adventure of the Round Table was the search for the Holy Grail. However, only the three knights---Bors, Galahad and Perceval were pure enough to be able to find the Grail. All the others had various moral defects. This fact damaged the reputation of the Round Table. To make things worse, a love affair developed between Queen Guenevere and Sir Lancelot, who was perhaps the greatest of the Round Table knights. This scandal destroyed the bonds of respect and friendship that had united all the knights.
The mortal blow to the Round Table ws given by Sir Modred, who tried to seize Arthur’s power. In a battle between the forces of the two men, Arthur killed Modred but he mimself was seriously wounded and soon died. The Round Table broke up following the death of Arthur.
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