What was the purpose of the Knights of the Round Table?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Knights of the Round Table, in King Arthur's Court were a group of 150 knights who swore loyalty to the king, observed the code of chivalry, which required them to be brave and courteous.  They were to fight injustice and evil.  They were a force for good, protecting the weak and the underprivileged.

The Knights of the Round Table were expected to be true to their lady loves, and to rescue damsels in distress.

Above all, they were champions for the King, seeking to fight cruelty and to courageously face the enemy even unto to death.

The most celebrated Knight of the Round Table was Sir Launcelot.  He was known for his bravery in battle, his courage and his skill in fighting. However, he disgraced himself. He could not undertake the most precious task of a Knight of the Round Table, to seek the Holy Grail or the Sang-real.  This was literally thought to be the chalice that Jesus Christ used at the Last Supper.  In the Middle Ages it was thought to be lost.  Sir Launcelot fell in love with King Arthur's wife, Queen Guenevere, and she with him, after he rescued her from one of King Arthur's most hated enemies.  

The Knight remembered for seeking the Holy Grail was Sir Galahad, a pure Knight, untainted, the son of Sir Launcelot.

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