Here, thematically, I want to look at the effects of pressure caused by consequence - and that's really an awkward way of putting it, but I can't think of a better way to explain it at the moment. The thing is, in the Arthurian stories, we see the characters constantly striving toward perfection, reaching toward something better. The consequences are both positive and negative. Just how far are you willing to go, what sacrifices will you make, in pursuit of your goals? How long will you persevere if the reward isn't really worth it, and how do you determine whether or not it is?

Understandings: Students will understand that
  • too much pressure to excel can lead to dishonesty and perpetual discontent, while too little pressure can lead to apathy and neglect
  • King Arthur's literary legacy has more measurable influence on modern culture than his historic identity does.
  • expectations (and pressure) are greater on leaders than on the people they lead.
  • there are both similarities and differences between what we expect of our leaders and what people expected of the nobility in the Arthurian stories.