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Merlin Enthralled Summary
Richard Wilbur

Everything you need to understand or teach Merlin Enthralled by Richard Wilbur.

  • Merlin Enthralled Summary & Study Guide

Merlin Enthralled Summary

Introduction

"Merlin Enthralled" is from Richard Wilbur's 1956 poetry collection Things of This World, a book that was awarded both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. The poem offers a new look at the ancient legend of Merlin, the magician who served as counselor to the legendary King Arthur of England. The episode that Wilbur recounts is from the end of Merlin's life when he falls under a spell cast by Niniane, a sorceress who lulls him to sleep. In most versions, this story ends with Merlin trapped within a tree or cave or tomb where he slowly wastes away in an agonizing death, but, in Wilbur's poem, Merlin lies peacefully beside a lake, becoming one with nature as he dies.

Among this poem's noteworthy aspects is the way it modernizes a traditional story dating back almost a millennium. Arthur, Gawen, and the other knights, who have stood for...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Merlin Enthralled Study Pack contains about 28 pages of study material in 5 products, including:

Merlin Enthralled Study Guide

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