Character Analysis of King Arthur

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For someone who's the title character, King Arthur of England sure doesn't get too much face time in Le Morte D'Arthur, especially in comparison that said, we do know a fair amount of things about everyone's favorite king. For starters, he's really awesome. He's pretty much the best king ever according to his supporters. As his knights travel around on adventures, they're always telling their opponents that they serve the greatest king who's ever lived, and the narrator constantly refers to Arthur as the noblest king. If that doesn't sell you, then consider the fact that Arthur manages to command exceptional loyalty from his knights so much so, in fact, that even when Arthur attacks Launcelot's castle, Launcelot declares himself unwilling to do battle with the king who made him a knight. Arthur wouldn't command all this loyalty and respect if he weren't doing something right. It's certainly not that he's a great fighter. True, he leads his troops into battle without hesitation. And yes, the guy is totally brave and polite. So much so that he takes time out of his battle march to Rome to rescue the people of Bretagne from a dangerous warlock who's been eating children and raping maidens. But as the story progresses, Arthur spends less and less time fighting and more time as an organizer and spectator of jousts and a receiver of hostages captured by the other, more active knights. Rather than being a fighter, then, Arthur's role is to serve as a center of power and judgment, a dispenser of rewards and titles to those who prove themselves on the battlefield. In this, Arthur proves himself to be an exceptionally great feudal lord. Feudalism, a system in which a lord protects the men who swear loyalty to him, in exchange for these vassals' agreement to go to battle for that lord, depends upon a give-and-take of promises. For vassals to have confidence in their

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