Book Notes

Notes on The Once and Future King Themes

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The Once and Future King Topic Tracking: Love

Book 1, Chapter 7

Love 1: Though it doesn't seem this way to Arthur, Merlyn is giving him a very thoughtful, kind sort of love. He is mean to him so he will get angry at Merlyn rather than feeling sad about not being a knight. Merlyn is willing to accept this in order to make Arthur feel better. At the same time, he feels very touched at Arthur's sadness.

Book 1, Chapter 19

Love 2: Lyo-Lyok shows Arthur love by forgiving him for his ignorance, and helping him understand the geese. In turn, he loves and respects her back-even though she is a girl, which he normally would not like.

Book 1, Chapter 24

Love 3: Arthur is surrounded by love of all kinds. Every animal has something different to offer him.

Book 2, Chapter 1

Love 4: Morgause's sons love her for all they are worth, even though they are frightened of her and confused by her turns of indifference and affection. Because she is so distant, they long to make her love them.

Love 5: Morgause's idea of love is self-serving. She uses her beauty and power to attract people to her, and then uses that to her advantage. This is true even for her children.

Book 3, Chapter 12

Love 6: Elaine's love for Lancelot is desperate, needy and immature. She manipulates him to get him to stay with her even though she knows he doesn't want to. She is not strong enough to let him go.

Book 3, Chapter 14

Love 7: Lancelot tries to share his self-hatred with Guenever, in order to help her understand him and therefore, perhaps, improve their love. Since he is so private and ashamed of himself, this means a lot to him.

Love 8: Guenever completely misunderstands Lancelot's gesture of love. She does not understand shame or self-hatred, and she lets jealousy get in the way of her love. She often suspects Lancelot of loving God, or Elaine, more than her.

Book 3, Chapter 15

Love 9: Because of her love for Lancelot and her underlying fears that their love is doomed, Guenever becomes insanely jealous of Elaine. She knows deep down that this is ridiculous, but she becomes hysterical and cannot bring herself to trust Lancelot.

Book 3, Chapter 16

Love 10: Guenever shows her love and trust of Lancelot, and her generosity and pragmatism, when she tells Lancelot that he should try to love Elaine if he can. Guenever realizes that since her love for him is doomed, it would be better for everyone if Lancelot could simply be with the mother of his child.

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