SAT - Courage (King Arthur reference) Essay

Submitted By miastarr
Words: 953
Pages: 4

Courage is based on acting despite being afraid. This is proven by examples found in the story of King Arthur and from history.

Primarily, in order to tie courage with King Arthur, we first have to know what courage is. According to Merriam-Webster, courage is defined as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Even in the definition, we are given the clue that fear actually goes hand in hand with courage; because there would be no courage or bravery at all if actions are done without even an ounce of fear. King Arthur shows his courage in many ways and acts with the central belief that courage is an ability to judge that something else is more important than the fear; organizing his priorities in a different way. For example, when he noticed that there was a connection between Launcelot and Guinevere, he chose to let it pass and simply warn them indirectly instead of bluntly claiming that the two were in love. This happens because Arthur realized that once Camelot found out, Guinevere would have to be beheaded as stated in the laws of adultery and Launcelot (being the enamored knight) would surely go against the King’s decision and end up creating a division in the realm. In conclusion, Arthur was afraid of the betrayal of his closest people but terrified of losing his queen and kingdom; so he chose to let the fear stay hidden. Also, Queen Guinevere shows courage since no woman in her right mind would have committed adultery in those times, especially the wife of the king! However, her fear of Arthur finding out and killing her was overruled by the fact that she would be better loved by Launcelot. Launcelot is courageous for going along with all that Guinevere does to him even though he defies his lord and is also courageous for jousting all the men throughout the story though there was always the possibility that he, too, would be wounded and die. On the contrary, there is a part where Launcelot shows otherwise. When Launcelot fought the Knights of the Round Table for King Bagdamagus, he asked to fight wearing blank armor because he didn’t want to show his true coat of arms. In this scene, Launcelot is doing something wrong for going against his allegiances and realizes that he is just too afraid of the Knights (and his comrades) knowing who he is; he succumbs to the fear and becomes a coward instead of the courageous knight he should be. After this, we can conclude that courage is your ability to act in the actual presence of fear, solving your problems realistically, and affirming your life despite the fear and possible pain it may cause. Similarly, these situations occur not only in medieval stories but in our lives.

The ties of courage and fear can also be connected to points in our history and government; among other observations. Mark Twain himself said that “courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear but not absence of fear.” Ralph Emerson stated that “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong”, that difficulties will tempt you to believe your critics, and that “peace has its victories but it takes courageous men and women to win them.” The classic To Kill a Mockingbird has a quote from Atticus where he mentions that real courage is not “the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyways and see it through no matter what.” In other words, that you would still go through