An Arthurian romance is a tale about the legends of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. King Arthur was a very important figure in English literature. Legends tell that he became king when he was very young. From then, under the tutelage of Merlin, he became a great king. His wish was to have an Utopian society.
The legends of king Arthur are dated from the 5th century, when Britain was been invaded by the Anglo Saxons.
These stories have many fantastical and magical elements that derived from Celtic mythology. They were also influenced by courtly love, based on themes of heroism and loyalty, in fact the legends tell about a timeless world in which women were considered untouchable object of adoration, in fact courtly love is linked to the Christian idea of passion as suffering.
The characters involved in these stories are knights, ladies, queens, nobles and so on.
The main themes are love (so the relationship between knight and lady), the search of adventure and the heroic combat. In these legends we can find four main themes:
origin of the magician Merlin, Arthur and Excalibur, the Round Table
Exploits of Lancelot, Lancelot and Ginevra fall in love
The research of the Holy Graal
Love of Lancelot and Ginevra, Arthur's death.
Many authors wrote about King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, for example de Troyes, Gottfried and Wolfram.