A Comparison Of Medieval And A Essay

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A Comparison Of Medieval And A Essay, Research Paper A Comparison of Medieval and Anglo Saxon Characteristics A study of Lerner and Loewe s Camelot, based on T.H. White s Once and Future King, and The Road to Camlann by Rosemary Sutcliff, will illustrate many aspects of Medieval culture. Three Medieval cultural traits which appear in both works are belief in magic fantasy, humility, and the importance of women. Comparing and contrasting the historical novel and the film to Anglo Saxon poetry will reveal that the belief in magic and fantasy was a modification of Anglo Saxon characteristics, and humility and the importance of women were cultural characteristics which were completely new to the Medieval period. The belief in magic and fantasy is a characteristic displayed in the

film mostly by a man named Merlin. Merlin is the teacher of Arthur, King of England. In Camelot, the first time Merlin appears he seems to emerge from a tree in a forest. This gives the idea that Merlin is part of the tree and the forest. Arthur tells Guenever, to whom he is betrothed that Merlin is said to be someone, whom: lives backwards. He can remember the future so he can tell you what you will be doing in it. He doesn t age, he youthens (Lerner). Mordred, the illigitement son of King Arthur, also shows the extreme belief in magic and fantasy when he says, Mother had a potion to take off ten years. They gave it to me when I was 9 to make me 1 (Lerner). The belief in magic and fantasy was something that everyone truly did believe in, not something that people just talked

about. The novel also shows that the belief in magic and fantasy is a part of the lives of everyone in Camlann. Merlin plays the same role in the novel as he does in the film. He is Arthur s teacher, and mentor who can see into the future to warn Arthur of things that will happen in his life. However, Morgan La Fay, the half sister of Arthur, really shows the belief in magic and fantasy. Is it said that she is a mistress of black magic, and sought always to do harm to her half brother Arthur with her many spells (Sutcliff 9-10). This shows that there is a belief in magic among everyone. The belief in magic and fantasy was a modification of the Anglo Saxon characteristic. The Anglo Saxons did believe that these things happened, but the belief was much stronger in the medieval

period than in the Anglo-Saxon period. In the Anglo-Saxon time, the only evidence there is in the belief of magic and fantasy is Grendel, a horrible monster from Beowulf. Grendel is described as a hideous monster that lives is the bottom of a lake and comes up at night and eats people. When Beowulf, Prince of the Geats fights Grendel he gets help from some of his men. However when his men join in, the fighting scene is describe by saying: Their [Beowulf s men] courage Was great but all wasted: they could hack at Grendel From every side, trying to open A path for his [Grendel s] evil soul, but their points Could not hurt him, the sharpest and hardest iron Could not scratch at his skin, for that sin-stained demon Had bewitched all men s weapons, laid spells That blunted every

mortal man s blade. (798-804) This is one of the only examples that show the belief in magic and fantasy that the Anglo Saxons had. Humility was another important medieval characteristic. In the film, it is mostly Arthur who shows this trait and how much of undesirable trait bragging was. When Arthur meets Sir Lancelot of the Lake, from the kingdom of Benwick who has come in response to Arthur s call for great knights to join the round table, he has knocked Arthur off the horse he was on, and is looking down on him. This was an embarrassing moment for Arthur after the two were introduced. Lancelot, however, also does a lot of bragging when he first arrives in Camelot. In a conversation with Guenever he says, I would never ask anyone to live by my standards, milady (Lerner). This