Analysis Of The Sword In The Stone

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Arthurian Legends Synthesis Essay
The Arthurian Legend “The Sword in the Stone” demonstrates how literature is modified over time, specifically during the Victorian Era (early-late 1800’s) and into the Modern Age (post 1901). Literary adjustments, including those of Arthur’s character and subtle changes in setting and placement of the sword masterfully demonstrate the fluidity of culture within a piece of literature . The Victorian Era, represented by work The Sword of Kingship, showed a clear dependence on the industrial revolution as it heavily affected the British economy and thus, was reflected in the literature through the addition of the anvil surrounding the sword. The Modern Age, including the work “Arthur and the Sword in the Stone,”
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This version shifts his character to being heavily based on his brute strength and his fighting skills rather than his leadership skills in kingship. This story also differs from the original tale of young Arthur in the way that his characteristics are portrayed. In addition, the description in which Arthur pulls out the great Excalibur from an anvil and stone rather than merely a stone further emphasizes this point. This version shifts his character to being heavily based on his brute strength and his fighting skills rather than his leadership skills in kingship. The subtle change of the source in which the sword is pulled transitions from a mere stone in original versions, to pulling the sword, “four-square, and on its’ summit,” from “an anvil holding in its’ iron bulk” (Westwood 17.6-7). This symbolizes societal views on the importance of steel and other major industrial materials by describing the literal height and thus value of these items. These changes, as demonstrated in this Victorian Era work, mirror the societal and economic dependence on the upcoming industries such as steel and coal and the ties between society and its’ changing …show more content…
The decline of the industrial revolution led to a decline in the economy, which brought hardships to the society. Arthur’s character transitions from a strong and powerful man to a character who is smart, loyal, and considered a strong leader because the society was in need of a king who would lead the country “in pees” [sic] and save the failing economy (Conlee 1.347). Arthur fills this role that the society needs through the success of his own hero’s journey appealing to the audience of this time. The anvil that is noticed in the previous story is changed back to the stone described as “a grete ston foure square” [sic] showing that steel industries have diminished by this time and earthy materials have gained back importance (Conlee 1.70). This version of the story mirrors the important factors in society and what is needed to give hope to the British while explaining how literature can change based on

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