Saturday, April 2, 2011

References to King Arthur in Modern Media

As famous beings who are widely reconized and known from the medieval ages, King Arthur is one of the most identifiable. Not only is he considered an extremely noble and courageous being, his knights of the round table are all also recognized as some of the best warriors in the earths history. Accordingly, modern media has referenced King Arthur and his knights multiple times, ranging from goofy and satirical movies such as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" to more serious plays such as "Camelot". These forms of media have chosen to be centered around King Arthur due to the classic heroic archetypes of the Hero as a Warrior and the quest to save his people.

In comedies such as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", Arthur is portrayed as a noble and educated being where everyone else in that universe is shown as either idiots or people who are making jokes alluding to history. For an example, when King Arthur and his group get to the bridge with the Crusader guarding it, they ask him if he would like to join their cause. He replies with "No", and will not let them cross. As King Arthur engages him in combat, he ends up cutting both of the crusaders arms off, but he will not relent. The crusader keeps hitting him with his torso, alluding to the relentlessness and determination of the crusaders back in the 12th century. Another example is when King Arthur is looking for help in his quest and goes to a castle owned by another lord. There are guards posted at the top of the gate, who pester Arthur relentlessly with stupid questions and answers, while not letting him within the castle. This guards are portrayed as idiots  to show the juxtiposition between Arthur and common folk.

In the more serious representations, Arthurs actions are reflected as his legend claims, with the power and knowledge of a great commander. The demonstration of Arthur and his knights skill in combat is widely acknowledged as being great within these plays and therefore he commands great attention when he is speaking, so he is a source of knowledge in the plays. A major difference in these plays are the roles that the various knights of the round table take, being a much larger presence within the main plot. King Arthur has more of an equal role when compared to the other knights and doesn't have as many scenes. This gives the audience a bit different feeing of the legend of King Arthur, as the knights are shown as having greater power. Are their any other historical figures such as King Arthur that are represented in modern media?

1 comment:

  1. In over the top comedies and black comedies the use of juxtaposition and allusion are relied on heavily to create humour. Without an informed audience, the allusions are meaningless. Consider the humour in the series, The Simpsons. Multiple types of humour are employed to please a varied audience! Imagine what would happen to viewship if the creators relied solely on juxtaposition and allusion.