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The Real King Arthur Essay, Research Paper
In The Once and Future King, the portrayal of the Middle Ages is conceived as that of
magnificent castles, beautiful clothing, great kings and queens- everything and everyone
perfect. No proof of the dirty, unjust, horrible circumstances that all people lived by-
even the nobility- existed throughout the entire novel. The people and places in The Once
and Future King are so backward that the story could be described as a fairy tale.
Camelot, for one, would not have been so gorgeously described, and looked upon
as a majestic land. Towns back then were not pretty. Dirt thrived in cities; there were
diseases and crud everywhere. Camelot was also depicted as being in order, and just to
everyone. Communities during the Middle Ages were not orderly. They were probably
outright chaotic and unjust. As far as the king goes, he probably did not do much to help
the fairness of towns.
Arthur, such a great, benevolent king, would not have existed back then. A great
king no doubt probably came to reign a time or two but someone who was so great, and
did so many things for his kingdom and so influential would not have been formed back
then. Kings during the time of The Once and Future King were mostly insane, or cruel, or
just should never have been remembered. No king ever did so many things that they
would have stood out so much as Arthur would have.
As a queen, Guenevere, from The Once and Future King, did not fit the
stereotypical-Middle-Age queen. She did not want to marry the king because she did not
know him. That does not sound so absurd now-a-days, but back then if someone did not
want to marry the king, you were thought of being just as crazy as the king could have
been. Given the chance to marry into royalty and live, as close to as you could, easily,
you would jump at it in a second. Guenevere was emotional, and had feelings, something
many queens did not tolerate.
The knight was even portrayed in a dreamland way. Lancelot, such a great fighter,
so brave, fair and content on doing the right thing; not many knights were like that.
Lancelot lived so easily, could get away with anything, and would fight for anyone (as
long as it was for the well-being of someone ?good?). Nonfictional knights of the Middle
Ages were not full of such valor, they just got the title, and fought. All blood and gore, no
fancy romantic, picturesque life. It was dirty, and not always so ideal.
As obvious as this is, it should be pointed out. The Once and Future King
contained a magician, as wonderful as Merlyn is, and knowing that the story could not
have taken place without him-he could not have existed. He brings out a spark in legends
though, something that adds on to the fairy tale part. But, unfortunately, reality just
swipes him away.
In The Once and Future King there is a great part that elaborates on the knights of
the Round Table. The elaboration brings out the untruth of it. There may have been a few
well-behaved knights during the actual Middle Ages, but not enough to create a ?club?
and be so influential that the entire kingdom knew of you. Most knights were feared, not
desired. The knights, in reality, went around to towns pillaging and raping-basically
destroying anything and everything. The novel places knights in this innocence picture, a
beautiful, yet completely absurd representation.
All in all The Once and Future King is basically fabricated out of nothing,
although the authors did a very nice job of creating a fairy tale out of a horrendous time.
Most people like to pretend that the early Middle ages were great, but facing reality, you
just can not believe it. Too much dirt, too much violence, all fighting, no love and beauty.
The time period can sprout love and beauty, given the right amount of spice, though. As
The Once and Future King did.
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
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