Le Morte d'Arthur

Why does Sir Bedivere not throw the sword Excalibur in the water at first? What lesson about loyalty does this episode reveal?


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Knowing he was near death, Arthur asked Bedivere to throw his sword, Excalibur, into the water and then to report what he saw. Bedivere took the sword, but because of its beauty and value, he could not bring himself to throw it into the lake. He tried to lie to Arthur, but the King recognized the lie and begged him to do as he asked.

Finally, Bedivere threw the sword towards the water. A hand appeared and caught it, brandishing it three times before disappearing into the water's depths. Bedivere told Arthur of this mysterious occurrence, and the King was glad.