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The legend of King Arthur would have originated as oral epos, i.e. something told in performance as a long narrative rather tha n written down. Our earliest mentions of King Arthur are found in prose chronicles. The fully developed tales of the Arthurian tradition were the medieval romances about Arthur and his companions. In the nineteenth century, the fashion for medievalism led to many retellings and recastings of tales about Arthur, in long poems (most notably Tennyson's Idylls of the King), Wagnerian opera, and plays (Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse). There are also Arthurian references in many shorter poems and paintings, especially those of the pre-Raphaelite school. The legends surrounding Arthur have been the basis of many novels and movies in the 20th century as well as a series of comic books.
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