The Once and Future King Literary Qualities

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Once and Future King.
This section contains 253 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Once and Future King Short Guide

In his retelling of the Arthurian myth, White places greater emphasis than did Malory on the tragic elements of the story. White's tragic theme—the sins of the past that return to destroy the hero—gives shape to the story, and recalls the themes of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex (c.429 B.C.) and other Greek tragedies.

Because readers are already familiar with the characters and the outcome of the story, White has the freedom to break off on narrative and philosophical tangents, such as Wart's transformations, King Pellinore's pursuit of the Questing Beast, or a discussion on the nature of civilization. The narrative depth is complemented by a richness of style—the prose of White's descriptive passages, even those only peripheral to the action, has been widely praised.

One of White's surest strengths is his characterization. He makes these mythical characters come alive, and he makes...

(read more)

This section contains 253 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Once and Future King Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Once and Future King from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.