Natalia Boehm
Dr. Driver
INT 296B
23 March 2004

Compare and Contrast Essay on Arthurian Internet Websites

Since the launch of the Internet, it has been easier for people to access the information they desired. There are thousands of websites that offer a variety of information at any time of the day, anywhere in the world. The Internet has become a way of life for many people. Websites provide us with brief or detailed information on many subjects. Whether it's literature, history or medical information, any kind of research can be done over the Internet. Access to information on the internet is much faster than going to the library which makes it easier to prepare research papers. Flashy websites entice "surfers" using a multitude of different techniques, such as entrance pages, links, and java codes. Literature is one of the most exciting topics to research over the Internet. Not only it is possible to research the biography of an author, one can also access bibliographies, essays, and other related information on the subject. A good website contains concrete, reliable information and is well organized. In a search of websites for King Arthur, I have come up with three websites that fit these criteria. These are: King Arthur and The Holy Grail by Dee Finney, King Arthur: A Man for the Age (anonymous), and Merrie Haskell's King Arthur Page all of which are very good sources of information the Arthurian Legends.

King Arthur and the Holy Grail site has numerous links to images and similar websites. The entire website is partitioned into different categories. There are links to Holy Grail sites, King Arthur sites, and an overwhelming amount of information on Arthurian quests and legends. There's no information that is written directly by the webmaster, but there are many reliable links, although some of them are broken. Also , it is difficult to sift through the overwhelming number of links to find the needed information. There is no direct information that can be drawn from this site. Overall, King Arthur and the Holy Grail is confusing, but contains many good resources.

The King Arthur: A Man for the Ages website was found as a link on the King Arthur and the Holy Grail main page. This site strictly pertains to the history and legends of King Arthur. It is much better organized than the King Arthur and the Holy Grail site; there is general information on King Arthur's legends and characters in the stories, and even a set of frequently asked questions about him. The response to the question "Was the Sword really in the Stone?" is quite interesting and informative:

The Latin word for stone is saxo; the English word for the Germanic invaders who took over the country is Saxon. It is quite possible that the story of Arthur had him killing a great Saxon leader and taking his sword as a symbol of prowess and renewed vigor and victory. It is also quite possible that in copying (which is what they did in those days), a scribe might have forgotten to add a letter, namely the last, to the word Saxon. Hence, "Arthur pulled the sword from the Saxon" may have become "Arthur pulled the sword from the stone."
In addition to the explanation about the sword in the stone, there are few other frequently asked questions on Arthurian subjects and all of them are explained very well. This website offers a general information on Kind Arthur and his legens. It also contains information on early british history and relates it closely to King Arthur. An excellent source of information! This site could be better organized; the index page needs more explanations of the links and something more construct ive than a table. This site has fabulous links as well and has been voted "Best of the Web October, 2000" by the BBC.

Merrie Haskell's King Arthur Page is a well organized page, with a drop-down menu that can provide information from King Arthur's children to characters in his legends. It gives you all the necessary information for research. Merrie Haskell, the author, is a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, which makes this source very reliable. The site is well kept, has no broken links, and there is tons of information on King Arthur. Home page links are organized in a neat applet. Information provided on this website is not fully updated, however all links work properly and give general information on the topic. This site is great, although it could be updated more often.

All of these sites presented facts and fictions about Arthur, and great links and explanations. Sites like these make it easier for people to learn about Arthurian legends and about King Arthur himself. These websites draw people into a world of almost complete obsession with a topic, and make the topic exploration not only amusing but helpful to all the visitors.