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Versions Of King Arthur

In The Once and Future King by T.H White and ?Le Morte d?Arthur? by Sir Thomas Malory, the author?s writing techniques vary. King Arthur and the other characters involved in his life are portrayed differently by the two authors in the different books because of the differences in the techniques.

In T.H. White?s The Once and Future King, White displays a modern writing style and language. White wrote a rather humorous story of King Arthur and all of the characters involved in his life, such as King Pellinore, the Questing Beast, and Merlyn. White also leaves out many describing details that aren?t important to the plot, and refers to Malory?s version by, saying, ?but Malory has already told you about that.? White?s book also reflects the thoughts of war from the time period that it was written. In the 1940?s, World War II had recently been fought and much of the world despised war because of the deaths that had resulted from the war. For example, the young King Arthur asks, ?Might isn?t right, is it, Merlyn?? Merlyn answers by telling him to think about it himself. Eventually Arthur realizes that might is not right.

T.H. White includes many themes in his book. One major theme in the book is love. For example, Arthur is in love with Guenever, Guenever is in love with Arthur and also with Lancelot, Lancelot is in love with Guenever, and Elaine is in love with Lancelot. Another major theme the book includes is betrayal. An example of this theme is Guenever and Lancelot betraying Arthur. Guenever and Lancelot betray Arthur by having an affair behind his back.

In Sir Thomas Malory?s ?Le Morte d?Arthur,? Malory?s writing style and language is that of the 1400?s. This is because it was written in the mid 1400?s. Malory writes a rather serious and less comical story of King Arthur. Malory gives vivid character descriptions and has little dialogue. Malory reflects the thoughts of war from the time period in which it was written. In the 1400?s, war was accepted because it was the way to conquer land so kingdoms could expand. Malory?s version contains graphic, detailed fighting scenes. For example, one fighting scene is described, ?Sir Lancelot was very angry, and he smote Sir Gahalantine on the helm so that he bled from his nose, ears, and mouth, and therewith his head hung low, and his horse ran away with him, and he fell down to the earth.?

Sir Thomas Malory includes many themes in his book. One major theme in the book is love. For example, Arthur loves Guenever, and shows it by saying, ?I love Guenever, the daughter of King Leodegrance of the land of Cameliard?; and Guenever loves Arthur and Lancelot. Another major theme is loyalty. Arthur remained loyal Guenever and Lancelot and Guenever and Lancelot remained loyal to Arthur until their affair began.

In T.H. White and Sir Thomas Malory?s versions of King Arthur, different writing techniques are used but some are the same. White?s version is humorous while Malory?s version is very serious. White’s is also in modern language and Malory?s in fifteenth-century English. Malory includes many bloody scenes, which White left out. White?s version includes the theme of betrayal and Malory?s does not, but Malory?s version contains the theme of loyalty and White’s does not. Both Malory?s and White?s versions contain the theme of love. Both versions also reflect the thoughts of the time period in which they were written.


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