Literary archetypes are universal models or patterns that characters are based on, they aren’t necessarily stereotypes. Archetypes can enhance or degrade the novel depending on their quality. Fantasy novels are heavy with archetypes, possibly more than any genre. T.H. White and Libba Bray break through the wall of the norm and expand the archetypes of the sage, the shrew, virgin huntress and the reluctant hero in both novels The Once and Future King and A Great and Terrible Beauty.
Without a doubt, Merlyn is a vital component to Arthur’s destiny to become the greatest king of England. Although he only serves as a main character in books Sword in the Stone and Queen of Air and Darkness, T.H. White successfully expands Merlyn from the roots of the sage archetype and exposes his omniscience and temper. Typically a sage is an old teacher who advises the hero. At first glance, Merlyn is described briefly with a white beard and a long mustache on his face (29). Making up for Merlyn’s cliché appearance, T.H. White expands Merlyn’s character further by allowing him to live backwards; he knows the outcome of Arthur’s every action. Merlyn indirectly warns Arthur about Queen Morgause’s seduction, which is one of King Arthur’s biggest downfalls. Arthur tells his men, “This battle at Bedegraine is the preliminary, you see. It is after the battle that Merlyn wants me to think about” (247). White has conveyed that Merlyn uses a calm and new-school teaching method to tutor Arthur. Merlyn’s omniscience is the key to why Merlyn is a unique tutor. As an aged wise man, the reader would presume that Merlyn would have patience and understanding; however, Merlyn is a very temperamental person when scolding Arthur, “And what is going to happen when ...
... middle of paper ...
...ts desires. Although White plot contains cliché fantasy, White’s development of archetypes is more successful than Bray’s. This is because method of characterization disrupts the flow of the story to give an in-depth analysis of the character’s flaws, which works to the readers benefit, making it more clear . White’s method allows Morgause to be set apart from any shrew in literature by writing two or three paragraphs about the complexity of her character. Her cockiness and shallow personality along with her diabolical plan to steal King Arthur’s throne make her one of most complex shrews. Bray uses a more underdeveloped method of characterization, allowing the readers to draw their own bias conclusions. No matter what method used, T.H. White and Libba Bray extend four great archetypes in their novels Once and Future King and A Great and Terrible Beauty.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Once and Future King Description of Guenever Guenever is one whose personality and appearance fluctuates often during the course of her life. The facts that she fell in love with someone other than her husband and that she never bore a child contributes greatly to these abrupt and drastic changes. The description of Guenever as a young wife is one with deep, clear blue eyes, which almost beheld a sort of fearlessness which was startling, as was her black hair. Although Gwen was quite fond of her husband, she found herself taken a fancy to the young knight, Lancelot.... [tags: essays research papers]
888 words (2.5 pages)
- There are many misconceptions about beauty and its importance, in todays society. In a time when physical beauty can be of utter importance, we seem to be at a loss of it. What is beauty and where can it be found. Can we see it in the air we breathe, the brilliant oceans, in the striking sunsets, or even in one another. With the weight of beauty in today's society, the common use of expressions used to describe life's brilliance is expected. The many expressions used to discuss beauty such as "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" and "beauty runs only skin deep" all stimulate different opinions and create controversy, but the most notorious of all, being that "beauty doesn't last forever... [tags: Beauty Sheri Tepper Essays]
1603 words (4.6 pages)
- There is a direct link in Book I and Book IV of the Once and Future King from the animation and adventure that Wart experiences to the fall of King Arthur’s reign. The shift is long and detailed but in the end everything ties together. Although at points the plot is grim, White throws in a little bit of satire throughout every book, for example in Book II when the Orkney environment is harsh but then it is contradicted by the behavior of Sir Pellinore, Sir Grummore, and Sir Palomides. In Book III, it is very descriptive and tedious with a darker tone, but then also is offset by Lancelot’s adventures.... [tags: Once and Future King, White, ]
472 words (1.3 pages)
- The Once and Future King Leadership In The Once and Future King T.H. White conveys his personal thoughts on leadership through the help of Merlin, and Wart's transformations. Through each transformation Wart experiences different forms of power, each being a part of a whole idea on how a leader should act. He must piece together these ideas for the definitive way he should rule as king. In order to teach Wart, Merlin transforms him into several different forms, a fish, hawk, ant, goose and a badger.... [tags: Once and Future King Essays]
972 words (2.8 pages)
- The Once and Future King The Once and Future King by T.H. White has a theme which consists of being true to yourself and your beliefs. Many characters and events in this book reinforce this idea and portray it as the main lesson. Readers are affected by learning important life-lessons throughout each chapter and book. Readers learn in the beginning that Arthur strongly believes in keeping his word. Even in Book I, when Arthur was a child, he refused to leave Hob's hawk, Cully, in the forest.... [tags: Once and Future King Essays]
441 words (1.3 pages)
- The Code of Chivalry in The Once and Future King T.H. White's novel The Once and Future King presents a code of chivalry that outlines the expected knightly behavior of the time. This particular code stresses loyalty to one's liege, love and respect toward women, and absolute devotion to justice. At the height of Arthur's kingdom, this code was widely accepted by all. However, as Arthur's kingdom begins to decline, the code of chivalry begins to hold less importance among the people.... [tags: Once and Future King Essays]
1147 words (3.3 pages)
- Life's Lessons in The Once and Future King "The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then -- to learn.... [tags: Once and Future King Essays]
1094 words (3.1 pages)
- Nothing makes you feel older than being surrounded by those younger than you. Thus being in my final school year suddenly almost everyone else is younger than me, causing me to feel ancient. I am almost an adult, and I constantly find myself observing children, not as an equal, but as a curious bystander. And if I have learnt anything from this, it is that childhood is not what it once was. To me and many others, our childhood were years were even the most impossible of dreams were very possible realities.... [tags: children, sexualization, growing up]
811 words (2.3 pages)
- ... Mordred is either Arthur’s son or nephew by his sister Morgawse. Mordred seizes Arthur’s throne whilst he is away and in ultimately slain by Arthur, but not before fatally wounding the king. Arthur is then said to have retreated to Avalon, where he waits to once again take his place as king, earning him the title the Once and Future King. Arthur’s knights were his most trusted friends and family, but ironically, he is betrayed by the best of them. The most reputed of Arthur’s knights are Sir Lancelot and Sir Tristram.... [tags: King Arthur, English legends]
1399 words (4 pages)
- The One and Future King In The One and Future King by T.H. White the main character, Arthur, learns many important lessons. He is taught many of these lessons by animals. For instance, he learns that "might is right" (White 47) from a fish (which turns out to be false), that ants live dictated lives devoted to war (121), that owls only kill another animal if they are starving (69), and a badger teaches him the story of man's creation (168). One of the most important lessons Arthur learns is from a goose, who tells him of a perfect society.... [tags: Once and Future King Essays]
361 words (1 pages)