Sparknotes the once and future king book 1

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sparknotes the once and future king book 1

SparkNotes: The Once and Future King: Book I: “The Sword and the Stone,” Chapters 1–4

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The Once and Future King: A Summary

Arthur once explained to the young Lancelot his attempt to end the principle of might makes right and asked Lancelot if he wanted to help Arthur do so when he was older. Lancelot said he would indeed like to join Arthur. Fiercely dedicated to Arthur, Lancelot committed himself to a life of training. Uncle Dap, an expert on all things related to knighthood, trains Lancelot. For three years Lancelot does nothing but learn about knighthood and practice sword fighting and jousting.

Sir Ector is expected to house Twyti, his dogs, and his men. On Christmas night, the whole village comes to the great hall of the castle to feast.
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Eventually, they encounter a seven-foot-tall giant named Little John. Little John leads them to the camp of a man he calls Robin Wood, known to the villagers as Robin Hood. At the camp they meet Robin and his love, Maid Marian. Robin tells them that one of his men, Friar Tuck, has been kidnapped by Morgan le Fay, a woman of uncertain origin who is believed to be the queen of fairies. The Wart and Kay agree to help rescue the three men. Robin gives the boys a small knife, which he explains will protect them because fairies are afraid of iron.

The birds all place a high premium on the importance of lineage and ancestry, and they refer to each other with military titles. Cully, who has been driven to the point of psychotic behavior, is referred to as Colonel, but even his military discipline cannot prevent him from acting on his murderous tendencies. White renders the battle between King Pellinore and Sir Grummore Grummursum ridiculous, using it to poke fun at traditional notions of knighthood. The fight is relatively pointless, since the knights turn a cordial conversation into a joust simply to satisfy the requirements of their social station. There is also humor in the way the fight unfolds, since each man is so heavily padded that he is barely able to hurt the other or even see well enough to avoid running into a tree.

Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right. See Important Quotations Explained. On a hot summer day in August, the Wart meets his new tutor, Merlyn, for his first lesson. Merlyn transforms the Wart into a fish and accompanies him in the moat in the form of a large, wise-looking tench. At the behest of a roach—another, weaker kind of fish—they visit a family of fish whose matriarch is ill, and although Merlyn thinks she is making up her illness, he cures her all the same. Merlyn, who wants the Wart to learn about the dangers of absolute monarchy, brings him to visit the king of the moat, an enormous pike.

5 thoughts on “SparkNotes: The Once and Future King: Book I: “The Sword in the Stone,” Chapters 14–19

  1. A summary of Book I: “The Sword and the Stone,” Chapters 1–4 in T. H. White's The Once and Future King. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene.

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