Plot summary for King Arthur (2004)

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1 Plot summary for King Arthur (2004) Based on a more realistic portrayal of "Arthur" than has ever been presented onscreen, the film will focus on the history and politics of the period during which Arthur ruled -- when the Roman Empire collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries -- as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale on which past Arthur films have focused. This original portrayal of "Arthur", as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale in past Arthur films, uses names and other elements from the traditional, medieval, Catholic Arthurian cycle in a very different, yet historically less implausible, almost realistic plot. Around 400 A.D., the Roman Empire, stretched across many nations, from Arabia to Britain, collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries. The conquering Romans were very impressed with the weaponry and fighting skills of the warrior Sarmatian people, which have to send their sons to serve Rome fifteen years in the cavalry before these knights may return home. Arthur is Artorius Castus, whose future Knights of the Round Table, eager to achieve their freedom, are charged by bishop Germanius with one final task before their discharge: a Roman estate tyrant and his family, especially adolescent son Alecto, who is selected for a great future in Rome, must be rescued from the invading Saxons, whose ruthless warrior-king orders his conquering tribal army to pillage and burn entire villages down. However, there is another danger lurking on the road to freedom - the Woads, Celtic Britton rebels who hate the Romans, lead by Merlin, who, however, realizes Rome is no longer the main threat and offers Artorius a novel alliance after sparing his life in an ambush.

2 Name: Period: Score: King Arthur Worksheet 1. Write a brief description of the characters/places. (14 points) Arthur Lancelot Tristan Gawain Galahad Bors Dagonet Guinevere Merlin Cerdic & Cynric Palageus

3 Bishop Germanius Hadrian s Wall Sarmatia 2. Identify the various groups and their goals. (8 points) Knights Woads Romans Saxons 3. What challenges did Arthur face? (2 points) 4. With whom does Arthur work to overcome the challenges? (2 points) 5. Who are the villains and what makes them villains? (2 points)

4 6. Arthur is a hero. What are his strengths and what is his weakness/flaw? (2 points) 7. At the end of the movie, the group is standing in a circle of stones much like Stonehenge. For what might these stones have been used? (2 points) 8. How does the movie differ from other versions of the story you have heard/read? (2 points) Brain Juice Questions: 1. Why do you think this story has been transformed into the legends we know? 2. What does it mean to be free? 3. What is bravery based on this movie? 4. Why does Dag sacrifice himself to break the ice against Arthur s command? 5. What do you think Arthur was afraid of? 6. Why do Arthur s knights return to him before the final battle? 7. Do you think Arthur knew they would return? 8. Why does Tristan release his hawk before the last battle? 9. What made Arthur and his knights feared by many?

5 Quotables: 1. Lancelot: I ve killed too many sons. What right do I have to my own? What right does Lancelot have to a family? 2. Merlin: It was love of your mother that freed the sword, not hatred of me. What is stronger, love or hate? 3. Ganis: But you re seven against 200? Guinevere: Eight. How does this movie define hopelessness? 4. Guinevere: You stayed and fought when you didn t have to. You bloodied evil men when you could have run. You did all that for no reason? Was there a reason? 5. Arthur: Pelagius told me once there is no worse death than the end of hope. Is that true? 6. Saxon Warlord: Finally. A man worth killing. Why do we search for challenges? Discussion Questions: 1. Arthur: There is no destiny, only free will. 2. Bors: This doesn t make him a free man. He s already a free man. 3. Guinevere: You have your deeds. Arthur: Deeds in themselves are meaningless unless they are for some higher purpose. We have waged a war to protect a Rome that does not exist. Is that the deed I am to be judged by? 4. Lancelot: What was it all for if not for the reward of freedom?.does it all count for nothing? 5. Guinevere: How many Britons have you killed? Arthur: As many as tried to kill me. It s the natural state of any man to want to live. Guinevere: Animals live! It s a natural state of any man to want to live free in their own country.

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