Idylls of the King Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the state of England in "The Coming of Arthur"? Upon whose kingdom is the point of focus?

England is in ruin because of constant warring among its various kings. Much of the land is uninhabited and overrun by wild, dangerous beasts who even sneak into the cities and harass the residents. Leodogran's kingdom is assailed in turn by the Romans, a fellow English king named Uriel, and finally a band of heathen barbarians.

2. What is the controversy over Arthur's birth in "The Coming of the King"? What does this have to do with the central plot of Arthur's objective in the story?

Many claim that Arthur is not King Uther's son, but an impostor who was born to ignoble parents. Arthur fights off the heathen invaders and pushes back the beasts, restoring order to Leodogran's kingdom. As a reward for his service, he asks for Guinevere as his wife, but Leodogran is apprehensive because of the rumors of Arthur's low birth.

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