English Literature for Boys and Girls: Chapters 8 and 9

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 tells of the story Thomas Mallory wrote about Arthur and the Sword in the Stone.

Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon, but no one knew it. One day Arthur’s brother Kay was in a tournament, when Kay realized he left his sword at home. He sent Arthur to go get it, but on the way, Arthur realized that it would be much easier to just get the Sword in the Stone, which was on the way.

Sir Ector sees what Kay is fighting with, and asks him incredulously how he got it. Kay replies that Arthur brought it to him.

Later, Sir Ector brings Arthur to the stone, and re-inserts the sword. He then tries to pull it out himself, and finds that he can’t. Arthur then tries, and pulls it with ease.

Sir Ector realizes that Arthur is the rightful king, So they had a coronation for Arthur, and that is the end of the first part of Mallory’s story.

Chapter 9

The Passing of Arthur

This chapter accounts for Arthur’s death, and what happened to his sword Excalibur.

Arthur, after a battle, had a fatal wound. He commanded one of his knights, Sir Bedivere, to cast his sword into a lake. Sir Bedivere, taking the sword, went to the waters edge, but could not find it in himself to throw away the amazing sword. He throws it in the reeds near the water’s edge, and returns to Arthur, telling him that the sword is in the lake.

Arthur tells Bedivere that he does not like men lying to him, so Bedivere goes back and pretends to throw it in. He returns to Arthur, and tells him the sword is gone. Arthur replies angrily that it is untrue. Bedivere goes back one final time, throws the sword in the lake, but just before it hits the water, an arm reaches out from the water and grabs it….

Bedivere returns to Arthur, and tells him what happened. Arthur believes him, and tells Bedivere to bring him to the lake. They find a barge waiting for them, and Arthur boards, exiting into the mist….

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