The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The Once and Future King Book 4, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Orkney brothers are waiting for Arthur in the justice room—a peculiar square-shaped room lined with tapestries. The brothers are arguing—Gareth, Gawaine and Gaheris want to be no part of the treason Agravaine and Mordred are plotting. Arthur enters the room quietly, but they all see him. Suddenly, declaring they are no part of it, Gawaine, Gaheris and Gareth sweep out of the room.
Once more, the loyalty of three of the Orkney brothers illustrates how successful Arthur's reign has been thus far—he has healed the feud between the Gaels and the Normans so much that three of the Orkney clan would rather be loyal to him than to their own kin.
Themes
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
Mordred glares at his father; he boldly announces: "We came to tell you what every person in this court has always known. Queen Guenever is Sir Lancelot's mistress openly." Arthur only looks at the floor. He asks if they are ready to prove that accusation under the law. Agravaine asks that they use the new laws to prove the pair guilty, with a jury and a judge, instead of the old laws with trial by combat. They are slowing driving Arthur back; he agrees, but refuses to take part in any attempt to trap the lovers into providing proof. The elation in their voices disgusts Arthur.
Arthur's England is at a transition point: Arthur has been developing the Law to replace things such as trial by combat. Agravaine has read up on Arthurs's new laws and thus uses them against Arthur himself. Agravaine knows if the Queen is given trial by combat Lancelot will kill anyone he faces. But, if the pair are tried before a jury and there is evidence to prove their guilt, they will have to be killed.
Themes
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon