Was Percival successful in finding the holy grail?

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There are many versions of the story of King Arthur, the knights of the round table, and the search for the holy Grail. In some versions, Percival is known as the Grail Knight because he is portrayed finding the holy Grail and bringing it to King Arthur, who is wasting...

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There are many versions of the story of King Arthur, the knights of the round table, and the search for the holy Grail. In some versions, Percival is known as the Grail Knight because he is portrayed finding the holy Grail and bringing it to King Arthur, who is wasting away. In some versions of the story it is the Fisher King, a sort of version of King Arthur, who was portrayed as an old man wasting away because the secret of the holy Grail has been lost. In Le Morte D'Arthur by Mallory, for example, one of the most widely known versions of the story, Percival is a humble knight whose purity and loyalty make him suitable to find the Grail. He gives it to King Arthur and after the king drinks from it his vitality is restored.

In some versions of the story Lancelot and Percival are a composite, instead of separate characters (as in Le Morte d'Arthur). In The Quest of the Holy Grail, Percival and Lancelot seem to be combined. The question of whether the Grail is an actual physical object (such is a silver chalice as it is often portrayed), or merely a symbol of purity and love, also depends very much upon the version of the story being discussed. In this particular version, the story begins with the context of the Holy Grail's origins in the story of Jesus Christ, and so the Christian symbolism and tenets of Christianity become very important elements of the story.

The idea that the Grail is a holy relic something that connects Christian dogma with European mythology is also often seen in various stories within the Arthurian legends. In Le Morte d'Arthur, and in the cinematic version of that work, Excalibur (1981), the Grail is connected to the theme of sovereignty, and the connection of the king's well being to the well being of the land. Also in that version, Percival is found worthy, after many trials, and after several failed attempts, he is granted the secret of the Grail in a vision. He offers the cup to Arthur, at he same time revelaing that secret, so it is debatable whether it is the chalice itself, or that secret (the land and the king are one) that is what heals Arthur.

This version of the story, however, focuses a great deal on Percival's shortcomings (he is bold and arrogant) and the many challenges he faces on his quest for the Grail. However, the physical Grail is never found by him, but remains mostly symbolic. Percival is able to learn the secrets of the Grail and pass them along so that the Fisher King may be revived. The takeaway is that the legend is more about symbolism than an actual physical relic to be found.

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