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The Once and Future King The legend of King Arthur is a tale as timeless as any other found in literature today Introduced to us by Sir Thomas Malory during the fifteenth century in Morte d Arthur it was the first complete tale of Arthurs life Countless portrayals followed for any reader interested in the tale of the boy who was destined to become King The Once and Future King by TH White is certainly the most popular representation of the immortal legend of King Arthur It is similar to the tales woven before it but White gives new meanings and modernization to the traditional story through his unique perspectives and writing White takes the reader on a journey in the past enriched by the knowledge of the future Most importantly Whites notion that society cannot be governed by might alone is a prevalent theme throughout the work He expresses the ideals of might vs right as it relates to a world much like our world today He clearly understands that might rules the actions of individuals but right is the ideal that we seek to obtain As we often find the former prevails The novel is divided into four sections that represent periods of time in Arthurs life The novel begins with The Sword in the Stone the tale of Arthurs childhood At this time he is not referred to as Arthur but Wart His foster brother gave him this name and it was his childhood nemesis Early in the book Wart finds Merlyn who becomes his tutor One of the earliest indications of the theme occurs when Merlyn and Wart are discussing knighthood Wart tells of his desire to encounter all the evil in the worldso that if I conquer it there would be none left 38 Merlin quickly corrects the boy by telling him his notion would be extremely presumptuous and he would be conquered for it 38
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