King Arthur © beyond | Herwig Zens


Arthur, King of the Britons, and Oswald, King of the Saxons, battle for love and power. With the aid of Merlin, his magician, Arthur succeeds in driving Oswald and his men back as far as Kent. At stake are England and the love of the blind Emmeline. Emmeline's heart belongs to Arthur. It is the eve of the decisive battle. In Oswald’s camp, sacrifices are made to the gods. However, this turns out to be a waste of horses because the Britons win even though the enemy has Osmond, the Earthy Spirit Grimbald and the Airy Spirit Philidel on their side. The latter changes sides and protects the Britons whom Grimbald is trying to lead astray. When Emmeline and her attendant Matilda learn that the Britons have won they set out to join the soldiers. On their way home they are ambushed and abducted by two strangers — Oswald and Osmond. Arthur confronts Oswald: If he relinquishes his hostages, the crown will be his. But Oswald rejects the deal. Merlin encourages Arthur not to lose heart: he is not destined to lose his beloved Emmeline who, what is more, will regain her eyesight thanks to Philidel. And Philidel succeeds in doing this by stealing into the Saxon castle and outwitting the evil Grimbald. The first thing Emmeline sees is her reflection in the mirror. Then she sees Matilda and finally her beloved Arthur. However, she is not allowed to touch him; if she does, the spell will be broken. Arthur must leave the castle without Emmeline because she is still under Osmond’s spell. But there is someone else whom the power-hungry Osmond tricks with the aid of a sleeping potion: Oswald. Now it is Osmond who tries to force Emmeline into submission. But he fails: Emmeline and Matilda manage to escape. King Arthur has now arrived in the enchanted wood too and is bewitched by various supernatural beings until Merlin finally succeeds in breaking the wood’s magical power. Arthur challenges Oswald, who has woken up again, to a final duel — which Oswald loses. All England now falls to the Britons; Merlin triumphs, and Arthur and Emmeline can be together at last.