The Once and Future King - Arthur's Failure Essay

1117 Words Oct 17th, 1999 5 Pages
"He was only a man who had meant well, who had been spurred along the course of thinking by an eccentric necromancer with a weakness for humanity. Justice had been his last attempt-to do nothing which was not just. But it had ended in failure" (White, OAFK 634). The "he" in this passage refers to King Arthur, the main character in T.H. White's The Once and Future King and Book of Merlyn, who failed in his attempt to unite England due to the mistakes made by him and those close to him. Arthur, betrayed by those close to him, not properly educated on the greedy, selfish, and violent heart of man, failed in his attempt to create a stable, progressive, and peaceful society.<br><br>To begin with, those close to Arthur made mistakes that would …show more content…
If he could have just known that none were as lucky as he had been, concerning the lessons he had been taught as a boy. "He, unfortunately for himself, had been beautifully brought up. His teacher had educated him as the child is educated in the womb...and, like the child in the womb, he had been protected with love meanwhile. The effect of such an education was that he had grown without any of the useful accomplishments for living-without malice, vanity, suspicion, cruelty, and commoner forms of selfishness. Jealousy seemed to him the most ignoble of vices. He was sadly unfitted for hating his best friend or for torturing his wife. He had been given too much love and trust to be good at these things" (White, OAFK 389) In other words, if Arthur gained exposure to hate, jealousy, and greed, he would have known how to retaliate against it and handle it. But, being incapable of such feelings and emotions, it enabled people to treat him harshly, knowing that he could not hate them for it. He underestimated Might, believing that it could be eliminated just as he felt that the nature of men could be perfected. <br><br>In T.H. White's OAFK and BOM, Arthur, not give the proper education on the violent, selfish, and greedy hearts of men, was not able to create a stable, progressive, and peaceful society because he, as well as those close to him made mistakes that eventually led to his downfall. Arthur grew up in a

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