Merlin In The Crystal Cave

700 Words3 Pages
In the book The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, the protagonist Merlin is deemed a “bastard” child because his mother never reveals his father’s identity. Therefore, Merlin grows up fatherless, but does this hinder Merlin, or is this an advantage? During the time period which this book takes place, a person’s parentage determines every aspect of their life. It determines the child’s title (last name), lineage, and inheritance. If their father is a noble or a king, then, that child will have a high place in society. If their father is a commoner, they will have a low standing in society and will most likely never move up in class. If a person is deemed a bastard, they are born out of wedlock, but if their father claims their bastard child as his, it will allow the child to have a claim to his name. In some rare cases, the…show more content…
Merlin is already considered an oddity, because he does not follow society’s standard on what a man should be. During that time, a man either became a soldier and fought for the king, a laborer, or he joined the priesthood. Merlin rejected all of these ideas, and therefore, he did not fit in. By being a bastard child with no name, this allowed him to do so. For example, when a child of noble birth is born, they have to follow and complete certain duties. Merlin never had these certain obligations. By being a “nobody”, he has the freedom to do what he pleases to a certain extent. In Merlin’s case, being a nameless bastard child gives him an advantage. Since Merlin has this freedom, he is able to discover the crystal cave and learn from Galapas. As much as being a bastard is an advantage for Merlin, it is also, a disadvantage. Since no one knows who Merlin’s father is, Merlin is considered a threat to other kings and future rulers because Merlin’s mother is a princess. If Merlin’s father is also a noble or a king and claims Merlin as his own, Merlin has a rightful claim to not only one but two kingdoms. Therefore, this puts
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