The legend of the Knights of the Round Table
Many years ago, her heroes lived and died for the honor of the king, for their land, and for beautiful ladies, but they still live today, charming us with the magic of ancient legends and transferring us to a world that exists beyond the boundaries of space and time, but at the same time is understandable to every person, a world that illuminates our every act. King Arthur and his valiant knights, having once left the lands of distant Britain, continue to fight in the souls of people, awakening memories in their hearts.
Many, many years ago, the formidable King Uther Pendragon lived on the land of Britain, and he was in love with the beautiful Igraine, Duchess of Cornwall. For the happiness of connecting with her, the king promised the magician Merlin, his future son. And when the child was born, Uther, keeping his word, gave the boy to a wise druid to raise him according to his understanding. So little Arthur lost his parents and became the adopted son of Sir Ector.
Soon Uther died, and chaos reigned in the country. Fearing internecine wars, Merlin gathered the English barons on a December night. Coming out of the door of the temple, they saw a stone miraculously appear in the square, in which a sword was stuck to the middle of the blade. “Whoever can extract this sword from the stone,” the inscription read, “will become the king of England.”
Many wished to test their strength, but the sword did not even swing, and the English throne did not find the long-awaited ruler. Excalibur, Arthur’s magic sword, which a mysterious hand lifted from the waters of an enchanted lake, sparkled like the light of thirty torches.
Many years later, when few people remembered about the sword in stone, valiant knights came to London from all over Britain to participate in the tournament. Among the guests were Sir Ector and his son Kay, as well as the unknown Arthur, who served as his brother’s squire.
On the way, it turned out that Kay had left his sword at home, and Arthur had the honor to return for it. But the servants had gone to the tournament, and the house was locked. Arthur was ashamed to appear before his master empty-handed, but, fortunately, he saw a sword sticking out of a stone in the square, easily pulled it out and, happy with the find, went to Kay.
He immediately recognized Merlin’s magic sword and, showing it to his father, declared that he intended to become king. But under the stern gaze of Sir Ector, he immediately confessed everything. When Arthur pulled the sword out of the stone again in front of the astonished knights, it became clear who the real king was.
How beautifully the chivalric legends draw the hero’s path! The Arthurian myth is a symbolic story about a person who wants to change himself, looking for the meaning of life, seeing a goal, and going to it. Modesty, purity is something worth arming yourself with when going on a journey.
To pull a sword out of a stone without having ambitious goals is the beginning of the Path. This is how the amazing wheel starts, which moves our life and measures its hours. The sword is a symbol of the spiritual, volitional principle, the highest, “vertical” principle in man. The myth of Arthur confirms that life is measured not by the hours lived, but by the steps taken and the feats accomplished. Arthur is required to become king. But becoming a king is not the end of the road, but only the beginning of it.
Arthur ruled like a just king. He did many glorious deeds for the benefit of his subjects, and the earth was full of rumors about him. Dreaming of exploits, the noblest knights of Britain reached out to his court. They were strong and brave people, but there was no agreement among them. Frequent quarrels and strife overshadowed the life of the state. And then, one day, everything changed.
On the wedding day, along with the dowry of his wife, the beautiful Lady Guinevere, Arthur received an unusual table — 150 knights could gather at it at the same time, and thanks to its round shape, they all turned out to be equal before the king. Thus was born the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Round Table. Once a year, they gathered in Camelot to confirm their right to a place at the Round Table with stories about their exploits.
But the fairy tale does not end, the legend calls forward
There was no shortage of noble men in Camelot, only one seat at the Round Table was always empty. It was called “pernicious” because only the most noble and pure-hearted knight could occupy it without harming himself and others. And one day, such a knight appeared.
On the next feast of Pentecost, when, having renewed their vows of loyalty to Arthur and Camelot, the knights took their places at the Round Table, a beautiful young man in white clothes appeared in the hall. The inscription “Galahad” immediately appeared on the back of an empty chair.
When Galahad took his designated place, thunder crashed, shutters rattled alarmingly, and darkness descended on Camelot. Suddenly, a chalice appeared on the table — the Holy Grail, and the legend said that as long as it is in the world, the brotherhood of the knights of the Round Table will live. “And the Holy Grail was carried through the entire hall and disappeared; no one knows how or where.”
The audience took their breath away, and when they regained the power of speech, they, without leaving the place, swore to go in search of the Holy Grail without any delay. From now on, life among feasts and feats of arms remained in the past for knights.
The search for the Holy Grail has not stopped since the XII century. There are people who seriously believe that the Grail is a real object hidden in some secret place, and that it is enough to have secret information and a map or code to find it. But in the legends, the castle of Montsalvat, where the Grail is kept, is described more like a Sacred Island than a medieval citadel.
Legends tell strange things. Troubadours and minnesingers were sure that the search for the Grail is the only important thing in life, that the Grail combines things without which the life of each of us loses its meaning: the most beautiful dreams, the greatest love, the highest aspirations that a person can grow and reach, the Grail opens only to those who strive for it with all the strength of their soul.
The quest for the Grail brought many trials to the knights of Arthur. Only three of them: the invincible Perceval, the pure-hearted Bors, and the perfect knight Galahad reached the goal. The Grail was revealed to them as a reward for spiritual search, for purity and courage, it was revealed because they saw it in dreams day and night, and in dreams and in reality.
Not all the knights have returned to Camelot, and the last battle was waiting for those who returned. In it, the eternal enemy, the embodiment of evil and vice, Mordred mortally wounded King Arthur. It’s time for the Knights of the Round Table to leave this world. A ship silently approached and took the great king to a magical island, where there is no place for evil, suffering, and death. The best knights followed him, and there, on the unknown Avallon, they sleep soundly, sharing the fate of their lord.
Yes, that’s the way it is – somewhere on a distant island, the knights of King Arthur are sleeping to this day, the wizard Merlin is sleeping in a crystal grotto, the heroes of medieval chivalric novels are sleeping. They sleep and wait for the hour when they will be needed again in this world. When evil envelops the earth, they will wake up when the fog of materialism and egoism becomes almost impenetrable. They will come to return the good, justice. What clothes will they be wearing? What language should they speak? What weapons will be in their hands?..