Oh, if only it were that easy.
To know our true identities, our destinies, or our life’s purpose by simply pulling out a sword from a stone.
Any way you slice it, you can’t deny that the Arthurian legends are resoundingly entrenched in Western culture, predominately to the British Empire, which at one point, the sun never set on. (But personally, I think they’re better off not worrying about if the sun is or is not sitting on them, it frees them up to continue to model to the U.S. Parliamentary debating tactics, polish up Stonehenge, and make movies like Son of Rambow.)
Understand that there are those who have spent their lives on studying the tales/legend of King Arthur, and you only need to step in the shallow end of the Internet surf to find out what you need to know for sufficient background knowledge, and “catch” the allusions made in literature, movies, and Spongebob.
I would use up all my blog gigabytes if I wrote a full post on Artie and the Gang; suffice it to say this legend HAS IT ALL! It’s like a great country/western song: loyal friends, cheatin’ wives, and a quest for the Big Gulp in a ’70s Charger. Literally, the 70s. Not the 1970s. Not the 1670s. Most likely, the 570s. And did I say Big Gulp? I meant cup. No, chalice. Holy Grail, let’s go on a Crusade!
King Arthur’s grand apotheosis (yeah, that’s right, I used one of your vocabulary words!) comes from his final battle with his greatest enemy, Mordred. Even Mordred’s name connotes some serious evil, jealousy, and bad manners. Not very cricket of him, what what!? Arthur mortally wounds Mordred, but also receives a fatal blow; after getting rid of the evidence with the help of his homie Bedivere, Arthur is laid to rest on the Isle of Avalon.
So, once you’ve succeeded in filling your noggin with sufficient background knowledge on the “real myth,” (wouldn’t that be an oxymoron?) then you may want to move on to these books and a movies:
Song of the Sparrowby Lisa Ann Sandell (G-PG)
Mists of Avalonby Marion Zimmer Bradley (PG13)
Monty Python’s Holy Grail (movie) (PG-13)