9. The Ultimate Quest of King Arthur Was to Find the Holy Grail
In the late 1100s, a French writer named Chrétien de Troyes penned what is possibly the first of the Arthurian legends concerning the Holy Grail. In his story, Perceval, one of the knights of the round table, is in the palace of the Fisher King, a figure who is surrounded by much mystery, mainly because de Troyes never finished the poem. In the castle, Perceval witnesses a mysterious procession in which a cup – the Holy Grail – is brought to the king. Also in the march is the Spear of Destiny, the spear used to pierce Jesus’ side. In the story, it bleeds perpetually from the tip.
Perceval’s experience led to the quest by King Arthur to find the Holy Grail, both out of religious duty and out of a desire to lay hold of its mystical, healing powers that the legend claims. The Arthurian legends tell of the king and his knights going on dangerous and noble exploits, slaying dragons and fighting monsters, including, of course, a man-eating bunny rabbit. Ultimately, all of these adventures are part of his ultimate quest of finding the Holy Grail. His stories about the grail are what has sparked so much attention by scholars and commoners regarding the mystical cup and the powers that some believe it to possess.