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Le Morte D'Arthur

Le Morte D'Arthur


by Sir Thomas Malory

King Arthur Timeline and Summary

  • Arthur is conceived when his father, King Uther, sleeps with Igrayne when disguised as her husband.
  • One Christmas after Uther has died, Arthur pulls a sword from a stone and becomes king.
  • Early on during his rule, Arthur successfully defends his lands from an alliance of twelve Northern kings.
  • Unfortunately, he also makes the awkward mistake of sleeping with his sister, Morgause, with whom he conceives a son, Mordred.
  • Arthur marries the beautiful Gwenyvere and establishes the Knights of the Round Table.
  • He wins a war with Lucius of Rome, becomes emperor of Rome, and conquers all the lands on the way back to England. Not too shabby, Artie.
  • As king, Arthur declares numerous jousts through which his star knights establish their prowess. He receives many hostages and vassals as his knights win battles throughout the kingdom.
  • While he seems to be doing pretty well for himself,  Arthur chooses to ignore various clues that Gwenyvere and Launcelot are having an affair.
  • Arthur is sad when his knights depart on the quest for the Holy Grail, because he knows that many of them will not return.
  • Finally admitting to his wife's adultery, Arthur allows Aggravayne and Mordred to surprise Launcelot and Gwenyvere together, and then prosecutes Gwenyvere for treason.
  • At Gawain's urging, Arthur invades Launcelot's lands, leaving Mordred in charge of the kingdom.
  • Arthur returns to England to attempt to get it back from Mordred, who has staged a coup.
  • At the battle of Salisbury Plain, Arthur kills Mordred, from whom he receives his death wound.