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Arthurian Legend

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Activity 1

Arthurian Legend

The deformed savage was then by the fire, with his face besmeared1 with the clotted blood of swine2, part of which he had already devoured, and was roasting the remainder upon spits3 by the fire. But at the sight of them, whose appearance was a surprise to him, he hastened to his club4, which two strong men could hardly lift from the ground. Upon this the king drew his sword, and guarding himself with his shield, ran with all his speed to prevent his getting it. But the other […] gave the king such a terrible blow5 upon his shield, that he made the shores6 ring with the noise, and perfectly stunned the king’s ears with it. Arthur, fired with rage at this, lifted up his sword, and gave him a wound in the forehead, which was not indeed mortal, but yet such as made the blood gush out over his face and eyes, and so blinded him […]. However, his loss of sight, by reason of the blood flowing over his eyes, made him exert7 himself with greater fury. […] But Arthur, nothing daunted8, slipped out of his hands, and so bestirred9 himself with his sword, that he gave the giant no respite till he had struck it up to the very back through his skull. At this the hideous monster raised a dreadful roar, and like an oak torn up from the roots by the winds, so did he make the ground resound with his fall. Arthur, bursting out into a fit of laughter at the sight, commanded Bedver to cut off his head, and give it to one of the armour-bearers, who was to carry it to the camp, and there expose it to public view, but with orders for the spectators of this combat to keep silence. […] After this victory, they returned at the second watch of the night to the camp with the head; to see which there was a great concourse of people, all extolling10 this wonderful exploit of Arthur, by which he had freed the country from a most destructive and voracious monster.

The British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth, J. A. Giles, 1842.
Written in Latin under the title Historia Regum Britanniae, around 1136.

1. soiled  2. pig  3. stick for roasting meat  4. weapon
5. strike  6. coastline  7. make a great effort  8. intimidated  9. started to be active  10. praising
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Get ready!
Look at the paratext. Guess why we talk about “Arthurian” legend. Explain how the adjective was built.

b. Why are there two dates (1842 and 1136) in the source?

c. Find the equivalent for the following words in the text.

1) dried (adj.) ➜
2) hurry (v.) ➜
3) raise upward (v.) ➜
4) shocked (v., adj.) ➜
5) an injury (n.) ➜
6) a loud beastly sound (n.) ➜
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a. Read the text. Pick out adjectives that are associated with each character of the story.

Arthur The Giant Other people

b. What effect do these adjectives create? Associate each character with a noun to describe their role.

1) Arthur ➜
2) The Giant ➜
3) Other people ➜

c. Who do we identify with? Why?

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a. How many parts are there to this story?

b. Give each of them a title.

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Let's recap! Recap the story. Explain the characters’ actions, remarks and behaviour. Give your personal reaction.

Challenge! Create a storyboard! You can draw, use an app or go to a website like
Dessinez ici
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