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1. Lancelot is a complex character,
torn between cruelty and compassion. Discuss how such conflicts
affect Lancelot’s relationships with Guenever, Arthur, God, and
2. The Wart has numerous adventures
when Merlyn changes him into the form of animals, but only five
of them are described in detail: his transformations into a perch,
a merlin, a badger, an ant, and a goose. Briefly discuss the relevance each
of these episodes has to the idea of might versus right and the
development of Arthur’s thoughts about civilization and government.
3. White wrote The Once
and Future King in the form of numerous short, episodic
chapters. Discuss the effect of this format on the pacing, plot,
and character development of the novel.
4. The novel generally presents
an antiwar message, but nevertheless draws a great deal of dramatic
power from the conflict inherent in warfare. Is the novel’s attitude
toward war consistent, or does White contradict himself by glorifying battles?
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Once and Future King!