Arthur does not scorn them, however, but accepts the collapse of his dream as inevitable: He clasps Lancelot's hand firmly before he leaves and says "Goodbye, my love" to Guenever as she returns to her life as a Holy Sister. Arthur is at his lowest point — until, as in The Candle in the Wind , a young page named Tom Malory approaches Arthur and tells him that he wants to be a knight. The mood of the king — and of the film — changes, as Arthur realizes that his attempt to use "Might for Right" need not have been in vain, as long as someone records what he has done to inspire future generations.
Le Morte d'Arthur Summary and Analysis of Book 8-10
Like himself, Tom Malory is "one of what we all are: Less than a drop in the great blue motion of sunlit sea, but it seems that some of the drops sparkle. The film features songs, adventures in the woods, and a doe-eyed hero who like Cinderella and Dumbo overcomes adversity to prove triumphant at the film's end. While White's novel is presented in a much-simplified form, the film ultimately serves as a good introduction to its central issue — the value of education. The familiar characters from White's novel all appear in this film, albeit in simplified versions in which their primary traits are exaggerated.
The Wart is a feckless and scrawny twelve-year-old boy who maintains the same innocence that marked him in White's novel. Archimedes Merlyn's owl is a caricature of a know-it-all schoolmaster, constantly annoyed at his master and saying things like, "Pinfeathers! The fact that they both have red hair while the Wart's is blonde stresses their difference in character from the kindhearted boy. Much of what motivates the Wart, in fact, is proving his worth to these two overbearing figures.
The entire Robin Wood episode does not appear in the film, most likely so that Reitherman could keep its plot simple enough to grab young viewers. As in White's novel, Merlyn does transform the Wart into different animals; while these political science lessons-in-disguise make up a large part of the novel, however, the film only treats the Wart's transformation into three animals.
The first is as in the novel a perch and although the Wart does not meet an animated version of Mr.
As he swims in and out of weeds, trying to avoid being eaten, Merlyn sings a song about using your intellect. Merlyn's point here is that the Wart must use his brains instead of his brawn which does not amount to much in the first place ; after hearing the song, the Wart jams the pike's mouth open with a stick and swims to safety.
Thus, his lesson was not an overtly political one, but rather one about the overall value of thinking. The film then departs from White's novel by having Merlin transform the Wart into a squirrel. The wizard's logic in doing so is that the squirrel is "a tiny creature with enormous problems" and can therefore demonstrate to the boy how an alert mind and agile feet can help one stay alive. This sequence, however, soon becomes one played almost wholly for laughs when a female squirrel approaches the Wart and begins flirting with him in her chattering squirrel-talk.
Truro Cathedral - Organ Recital - James Lancelot
As the Wart runs from her advances, Merlin sings about the incomprehensibility of love. After they change back into people, Merlin tells the Wart that love is stronger than gravity and "the greatest force on earth. The final transformation shown in the film is one in which the Wart becomes not a hawk or wild goose, but a sparrow. Archimedes teaches the boy to fly, which he does very well until he wanders into the cottage of Madam Mim, a mad and hideous sorceress appearing in the first version of The Sword in the Stone before he revised it as part of The Once and Future King.
Merlyn attempts to rescue the Wart, but is instead challenged by Madam Mim to a wizard's duel in which in true cartoon fashion she and Merlyn transform into a number of creatures.
Merlyn finally wins the contest when he turns himself into a germ and gives Madam Mim an unpronounceable yet not deadly disease. Merlyn tells the Wart that the duel "was worth it if you learned something from it," and its lesson was clear: Merlyn played only defensively — for example, turning himself into a mouse after Madam Mim turned herself into an elephant. The fact that Merlyn won the duel as a creature no bigger than a germ again presses home the idea central to White's entire series that might is not always right.
The film ends in the same way as the novel: The Wart forgets Kay's sword at the London tournament and pulls the sword from the stone in order to cover his mistake. One difference is that the novel spans approximately seven years making the Wart become King Arthur at 17 or 18 years of age , while the film spans less than a year — the Wart is still the Wart at the end of the film, sitting on a throne with his feet dangling in the air and his crown too large for his head.
Reitherman's reason for keeping the Wart a boy at the film's end may have to do with his wanting a younger audience to still identify with the Wart when he becomes King Arthur.
Regardless of these minor changes, the film presents a distilled version of the novels' main theme in a very palatable and direct manner. While other film versions of the Arthurian saga attempt to reshape parts of the myth to further the issues explored by their directors, First Knight is different in its drastic alteration of several main parts of the plot. Mordred, for example, never appears or even exists and his father is killed in a battle with Prince Malagant the film's land-grabbing villain instead by his evil son.
Arthur is an old, lonely man when he meets and weds Guenever — who herself has a degree of political power as the Lady of Lionesse. First Knight 's greatest departure from the myth, however, is its portrayal of Lancelot — instead of the conscience-stricken and suffering "ill-made knight" of both Malory and White's books, he behaves like a very cynical and modern man, pursuing Guenever without any initial cares about breaking his allegiances to Arthur or the Round Table. He is not even French. This is not to say that First Knight is a bad film, but simply that Jerry Zucker its director was interested in presenting a new, modern "spin" on the Arthurian love triangle.
Richard Gere plays Lancelot as a wisecracking and medieval version of a contemporary action-hero.
In his first scene, he challenges anyone in a town square to duel with him for money; he defeats all comers by literally making their swords leap out of their hands. When a defeated opponent asks him his secret, Lancelot says, "You have to not care whether you live or die. When he meets her again, at a festival at Camelot, he runs the gauntlet a deadly obstacle course with flying medicine balls, axes, and swords in order to win a kiss from her — which he then refuses on the grounds that he "dare not kiss so lovely a lady.
He brags that he has no master and does as he pleases — which is completely unlike his suffering and guilt-ridden counterpart in The Ill-Made Knight. Even King Arthur only receives the slightest of nods from Lancelot when the two are first introduced. Guenever originally approaches her marriage as a political solution: Her village of Lionesse will soon be invaded by the marauding Prince Malagant and she thinks that marrying King Arthur will help her people gain the military protection they will need.
Thus, she is not a helpless or confused young girl but is, like Lancelot, a very modern person with a clear idea of how politics work. The fact that Sean Connery plays King Arthur lends an amount of gravity and charm to the part. He is older than one would expect King Arthur to be at the time of his wedding to Guenever, but what he lacks in youth he makes up for in stateliness and dignity: He tells Guenever that Camelot will still protect Lionesse even if she does not marry him.
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When Guenever responds that she does, in fact, want to be his wife, he asks her to honor the king, but love the man. His desire to marry is grounded partly in the loneliness that any King must feel as he is surrounded by people, few of which can speak freely to him. Thus the three points of the love triangle are established, although how they begin to intersect is First Knight 's chief novelty.
When Lancelot is invited by King Arthur to join the Round Table, Guenever speaks for him, saying that Lancelot is a free spirit and should be allowed to leave Camelot and "be free, with our love. His knighting and pledges to his fellow knights "Brother to brother, yours in life and death" therefore ring hollow, because Lancelot is speaking them to deceive everyone except Guenever, who knows exactly what he is doing.
Lancelot is not, however, only a wolf. The viewer learns that his cynicism and lack of genuine respect for the Round Table or any institution other than himself is the result of his childhood, during which he saw his family burned to death by attacking warlords as they hid in a church. Lancelot tries to smooth things over by telling her that he's just trying to share the daydreams of his youth with her.
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Get PDF Lancelot: The Cornwall Chapters
I write down the excerpts of my life so that once history has forgotten the truth of the world. I may serve to remind them of the follies of men and how the selfish desires of the heart can destroy even the greatest kingdoms. But all things have a starting point From the days of his youth serving in the brothel, The Lady of the Lake, till his meeting of Arthur of himself.
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Journey with Lancelot across the forgotten land of Britannia in the days after the Roman occupation where history is a malleable truth. This story will not be one filled with grand tales of magic and dragons, but rather how the Legend of Arthur and his knights arose to such mythical proportions. Reviews from Goodreads. FictionDB Reviews:. Paperback editions:.