Themes In The Once And Future King

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Once upon a time, there lived a king named Arthur. He was a fair king who created the famous round table and its knights. Throughout history, there have been thousands of themes and lessons added to Arthur 's grand tale. In T.H. White’s novel, The Once and Future King, there are three important themes that stick out the most: the saying “blood is thicker than water” does not apply to some families, being the best is not always the best, and that there are valuable lessons to be learned from one’s surroundings. There are specific characters that represent each theme: the Orkney brothers represent the first, Lancelot represents the the second, and Arthur represents the third. All of these themes and the characters that portray them are important…show more content…
He was the most sought-after knight in the Arthurian age; numerous people called for his aid, as he was renowned for his incredible skill and valor. He competed in everything from tournaments to simple conflicts. He was always expected to emerge as the victor or make the right decisions for a quarrel or feud. Even if he did not want to help, Lancelot was required to complete the tasks asked of him because of his honor and duty as a knight. Furthermore, Lancelot was considered the best knight but was not the best person. He had multiple flaws that diminished his reputation. White decided to transform Lancelot from the handsome, dashing knight that appeared in most of the other Arthurian stories to an “ugly brute.” This leads to Lancelot’s constant insecurities and negative self-image throughout his life. The book states, “He was trying to find out what he was, and he was afraid of what he would find… the boy thought that there was something wrong with him” (White 311). Lancelot had always thought of himself to be different. His self esteem was always low, ever since childhood, and it plummeted more when he lost his virginity to Elaine. He was both horrified and ashamed, and he claimed that his “power to make miracles” was lost after committing this sin. Lancelot also learned that being the best is temporary, as there will always be someone better. Later, Galahad, his own son,…show more content…
The first lesson that Arthur learned was of communism and conformity. Merlyn had transformed him into an ant, and there he learned about the communistic reign of the Queen ant and her “slave” ants. Their lives were static and uniformed, as this quote states;“The music had a monotonous rhythm like a pulse… he liked them at first… until he found that they did not vary. As soon as they had been finished once, they were begun again” (White 115-116). They had numbers instead of names, and only used two words to describe everything in their language: done and not-done (White 118). The ants repeated their actions every day, and functioned like robots; they do what they are told, when they are told. They do not have a personalities or thoughts for themselves, and existed only to serve then die. Arthur realized that all of the joy in life was nonexistent in the ant’s community, and that communistic rule was dreadful. The next lesson that Arthur experienced was the opposite of that of the ants; he learned about the pointlessness of wars and how to exercise power correctly like a true leader from Lyo-Lyok. When Arthur asked if there was a war happening between geese, Lyo-Lyok was amused at first, and exclaimed, “‘Dear me, you are a silly,’ she said. ‘There are no boundaries among the geese’” (White 163). However, she then grasped what he was asking: he

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