The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

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The Once and Future King Book 2, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
King Arthur's court is in tumult—no one can decide how to fight the second campaign against King Lot's slowly moving army. Merlyn presents himself in Court because Arthur has summoned a council of Sir Kay, Sir Ector and Merlyn. Arthur begins to talk about chivalry, and about Might .v. Right.
Although Camelot is preparing for battle, Arthur has his sights set on how to rule after battle. His education under Merlyn is beginning to solidify as he begins to understand his responsibility to the realm.
Themes
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Arthur continues: why does Merlyn help him to fight battles if they are bad things? The only reason Arthur can think of is so that, by winning these battles, he might stop all battles afterwards. Arthur explains, Merlyn wants him to put things right, so that Might is no longer Right. But, what Arthur has also been thinking, is that perhaps one could harness Might for Right. You can't cut out Might all together, but you could perhaps re-direct it for good.
This is the beginning of Arthur's great idea: that violence and power will henceforth only be used to uphold justice. Might will not make things right—it won't be the case that you can simply do whatever you are strong enough to do. Might will be used to support what is right, and what is right will be defined independently of physical or material strength.
Themes
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
If, Arthur goes on, he can win this battle, he will institute a new order of chivalry. He will make it a great honor to be in this new Order, and he shall make the oath of the Order that Might is only to be used for Right.
This new Order of chivalry is to replace the old order of chivalry solely based off hierarchy and money.
Themes
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
After Arthur has finished speaking, Merlyn stands up and stretches his hands to the ceiling.
Merlyn acts like this because his task has finally been accomplished and Arthur has begun to reform political and ideological systems.
Themes
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
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