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Why is King Arthur an epic hero?

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Quick Answer

King Arthur is celebrated as an iconic hero for his bravery, honor and chivalry. The stories of King Arthur, whether myth or actual accounts of a real man, tell the tale of a British King who united the country and led his people against the invading Saxons during the medieval period, according to PBS.

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Full Answer

Welsh priest Nennius in his book “Historia Brittonum” described King Arthur as a fierce warrior who wielded amazing power during hand-to-hand combat. In this book Nennius relates that the Celts chose Arthur to lead them 12 times, according to Pace University. The college's character analysis also reports that Arthur single-handedly killed 960 enemies at the Battle of Mt. Badon, which was the last battle in which Arthur participated. During battle he wore the image of the Virgin upon his chest.

Arthur is often referred to as the once-and-future king, a title given to him after he returned to Britain from trying to chase down Sir Lancelot for having an affair with his wife Guinevere. Once Arthur returned home, he found that his nephew Mordred had seized power in his absence. A fierce battle broke out, and Arthur suffered a terrible wound. The legend is that Arthur retreated to the magical Isle of Avalon, where he hoped to heal his wounds, so he might someday return to lead his people again.

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