Book Notes

Notes on Objects & Places from The Once and Future King

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The Once and Future King Objects/Places

The Castle of the Forest Sauvage: The estate of Sir Ector, Arthur's adopted father. Arthur is raised here and taught by his kind guardians to love, trust and respect everyone. It is here that he speaks to animals, gaining a perspective on the world that not many people have.

Sword in the Stone: One of the central objects in the story, the sword proves Arthur's real identity and sets his destiny in motion. The young 'Wart' goes from being a bullied orphan to being an admired king, the moment he pulls the magic sword from its stone-something no one else can do. Immediately, his brother and father fall to their knees in amazement. Merlyn, his magician-friend, begins to tell him about his future, and suddenly Arthur transforms from a goofy, curious boy to an uncertain but maturing king..

The Unicorn: The Orkney clan's adventure with the unicorn is very revealing in terms of the personalities of each boy. They decide to capture a unicorn and bring it to their mother, Morgause. Gawaine is gruff but kindly, Gareth and Gaheris are innocent and sensitive, and Agravaine is bluntly cruel. As the boys grow up, they remain true to these personality traits. Their good and bad qualities are deep-seated, evident from a very young age.

The Round Table: Arthur's greatest accomplishment as king. It represents justice and reason. When the knights are seated in a circle, they are equals, and focus their energy on doing good rather than competing for power.

The Family Tree: Arthur's family tree is at the center of the tragedy of his life. When he unknowingly sleeps with his half-sister, and she gives birth to his son Mordred, the undeniable fact of that mistake can never be erased. He even tries to murder all the babies who were born around Mordred's projected birth day, but Mordred survives. Everything Arthur does to avoid the destiny of his family tree brings him closer to it.

Holy Grail: Arthur uses the Grail to help his knights focus on something good, rather than fighting amongst themselves. Lancelot becomes obsessed with being pious enough to have it, making Guenever jealous, but fails.

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