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King Arthur And Zeus Essay Research Paper

King Arthur And Zeus Essay, Research Paper

Inside the compilation of mythical stories of King Arthur and His Knights of the

Round Table, retold by Roger Green, and Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek

Myths, two major characters in each story that could be expressed in similar and

contrasting ways are Arthur, the king and head of the knights of the Round

Table, and Zeus, the supreme leader of all gods and mortals. Similar

resemblances that can be found in both is their shadowy lineage, their major

mortal flaws, and their nature to journey on epic quests. Even though they were

very similar in some aspects, the two were also very different in other means.

Arthur is much more kind to his people and cares about them, while Zeus does not

view his subjects as worthy of him and treats them unjustly. An additional

difference is Arthur is more mild and not taking harsh action all the time,

though Zeus is known for being severe. There are many similarities as well as

differences that are attributed to these two mythical characters. Arthur and

Zeus can be noted for their mysterious childhood and ways they were treated at

infancy. Both had prophesies of prosperity that led them into adulthood. When

Arthur was born, Uther Pendragon, the leader of the Britons, killed a man and

married his wife, Igrayne. Uther and Igrayne had one child, but not much longer

after it was born, Merlin the enchanter took him away. Soon after, the boy was

placed in the arms of Sir Ector, a noble knight. Later, the youth pulled the

sword out of a stone that proclaimed that he was the king of all Britain. This

young man would later on grow up to be King Arthur. Not unlike Arthur, Zeus also

had a unnatural background. Before Zeus was born, there was a prophecy that

stated that Cronos, the king of all gods, would be overthrown by one of his

sons. When Zeus was born, he was concealed from his father. As time went by,

Zeus waged a war against Cronos and defeated him. Though Zeus and Arthur came

from entirely different locations and times, their childhood?s were related on

account of both of them being hazy. Even though some might not consider either

of the two ?mortal?, Arthur and Zeus had very notable human-like flaws. They

both seemed to rush to judgements hastily, and were very passionate towards

women. When Arthur hears about King Pellinore and how he is shamelessly killing

knights, Arthur runs off to fight. Obviously, Arthur does not give himself time

to think, and would have died if it was not for Merlin. Another example would be

when Arthur runs off to the Castle of Tarn Wathelyne and pays no heed to Sir

Gawain?s warnings. King Arthur ends up being tricked by Morgana Le Fay and

would perish save a horrid woman who forced Sir Gawain to marry her for King

Arthur?s life. Many times King Arthur would have been killed if it weren?t

for his friends such as Merlin and Sir Gawain. Zeus showed the same

characteristic even though it played no part in death for himself. The mighty

god jumped to his feet and killed when he found out that Ascelpsius was curing

mortals headed to the underworld. Later, Zeus regretted his act of terror and

brought Ascelpsius back to life. Passionate feelings for other women, and desire

for romance were huge faults in Arthur and Zeus. Arthur?s feelings for

Guinevere led to the downfall of the Logres. At first, when Arthur saw Guinevere,

he immediately fell in love with her. Through carelessness and desire for

romance, Arthur neglected Merlin?s advice of not marrying the queen. When

Guinevere and Lancelot had an affair, a war started, and the realm was

destroyed. In Zeus? case, the gods are not affected by romantic affairs, but

the mortals they make love with are affected. Zeus approached many different

gods or mortals, even though he is already married to Hera. Hera occasionally

followed Zeus, and punished the ones with whom he had affairs. The mythical

figures Arthur and Zeus both have major moral flaws: rashness and crave for

passion. King Arthur and Zeus are best known for their epic quests and

accomplishments. The two figures seem to be born for the reason to journey on

adventures. At age sixteen, Arthur ruled as the king of all Britons. He

immediately set forth to drive all of the Saxons out of the island of Britain.

This could be considered his first major quest. During his life span, Arthur

would set out on many quests to retrieve, and to kill. He journeyed to King

Pellinore?s land to fight, and he fought his final battle against Sir Mordred.

He died while fulfilling his last quest; killing Mordred. Zeus started his

adventures immediately after he was born and hidden from his father, Cronos.

Zeus led a battle, and defeated Cronos and his army of Titans. Afterwards, Zeus

was not as concerned about adventuring out to enforce laws, but he desired

passion. Though Zeus only journeyed on crusades very few times, he and Arthur

are known for the ways they both mythically adventured on quests. The two great

figures, Arthur and Zeus, have many similarities; yet the pair is very different

on their attitudes of ruling their subjects. The King of the Logres had a very

laid back ruling style. He enforces laws, but is very lenient and he lets the

people live freely. After Arthur was crowned king, he set the rules of nobility

and honor. His main concern was his own generosity and his leadership. Arthur

knew that he was not the strongest or the best of the knights, but he was one of

the purest. He knew that he could not lead his knights with an iron fist or else

they would rebel against him. On the other hand, Zeus, was a very harsh,

all-mighty dictator. He was the strongest and controlled all mortals and their

destiny. Zeus has only one way of thinking, his way. When Prometheus asks him

about man?s suffering without fire, he casually explains that man is happy now

without fire and the dismisses Prometheus with a warning. Zeus? desire is to

have all of the mortals? and immortals? lives in his grasp. He does not like

the idea of not being in control. While Arthur is trying to set up a harmonious

living space, Zeus is being very harsh and unforgiving towards his people.

Ironically, it turns out that Arthur fails in his mission to set up a peaceful

location after corruption strikes, while the subjects of Zeus turn out to be

content at the moment. Arthur, the mythical figure who arose from the Dark Ages,

and Zeus, the Greek King that ruled over the people, can be compared together

very easily or can be contrasted easily too. Both Arthur and Zeus had mysterious

origins, moral flaws, and their everlasting pursuit of quests. They also had

distinctive and opposite styles of ruling their people. The attributes match up

very closely for these two great mythical figures, yet they both had different

outcomes in their lives.