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A Medieval Romance Essay, Research Paper

Mark Twain wrote an interesting short story named A Medieval Romance . The story involved characters getting caught in deception and lies by their own greed. Twain shows the consequences of being someone you are not through this short story. In broader aspect Twain composed the short story in such a way that he shows how greed can overpower almost any morals a person may have. Greed usually provokes behavior that would cause a person to lie, cheat, or steal. In Twain s case, the story has the characters following one lie that snowballs and causes a catastrophe at the end of the story.

The beginning of the story creates a setting that even feels sinister. Twain writes, It was night. Stillness reigned in the grand old feudal castle Klugenstein. The year 1222 was drawing to a close. Far away up in the tallest of the castle’s towers a single light glimmered. A secret council was being held there. (515) Twain creates the sinister effect with the use of night and a small single light creates an eerie effect. The secret council gives a bad premonition. Here the old lord is introduced and we see the first sign of greed from him competing with his brother. The story reveals that the old lord planned to turn one of his daughters into a boy named Conrad so that the kingship would fall onto his side of family. The daughter who grew up thinking she was a man was just informed of this now and now only since she is of age for taking the kingship. (515-516) Twain shows here how the old lord had no feelings for the daughter to begin with. The old lord had more love for obtaining the kingship that he did of his own daughter. He did not care what problems it would cause her. Even more, the old lord killed eight people that knew the real sex of his daughter. (516) Through Conrad, Twain shows a person being someone they are not and this may be Twain s most underlying point.

Conrad rides off to take the throne. Twain creates Conrad s characters as one to be with a hard heart. When told of his past, Conrad did not really care. He went along with his father s ultimate plan. Conrad s compliance shows the second sign of greed covering any just morals. Conrad meets a lady while in Brandenburgh named Lady Constance. Lady Constance is actually the daughter of the old lord s brother. She would have taken power if Conrad did not pretend to be a boy. Constance takes a liking towards Conrad and tries her best to get his affection. He sees this and avoids her since he knows love can never be possible. Again Twain shows the power of greed at this point. Conrad at one point had a feeling in his heart to say something to Constance, but his avoidance of her kept his focus for the throne. He began to break down, but only for a second. Twain here shows how the greed may not be his, but rather his father is controlling him. It s his father s ambition that motivates Conrad, not Conrad s own.

Lastly, Twain covers greed with those two characters, but the ending is very interesting. Conrad gets caught in a no win situation and just before he makes a decision, Twain ends it saying he couldn t finish the story since the character was so deep into his lie there was no way out of it. (521) Those ending lines really just go straight to the reader. Twain basically expresses how the deeper you get into something the harder it will be to get out. Twain doesn t even end the story because he doesn t know how, he knows that whatever ending he chooses it will be unfavorable. Twain gives the reader an entertaining story and also a thought about who the reader really is inside and why are they like that.

Works Cited

Twain, Mark, A Medieval Romance , The Unabridged Mark Twain, Lawrence Teacher

(ED), is held under public domain.


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