A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

by

Mark Twain

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Morgan le Fay Character Analysis

Morgan le Fay is King Arthur’s sister. A powerful enchantress and ruler in her own right, she has an antagonistic, competitive relationship with her brother. She has a reputation for wickedness, yet she is also exceptionally beautiful and charming. When Hank Morgan and Sandy are guests in her home, she both repels and fascinates the Yankee. As with the rest of the ruling class in medieval England, Hank attributes her cruelty and callousness toward others (especially her prisoners) to her training and upbringing in a society he finds superstitious and barbaric.

Morgan le Fay Quotes in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

The A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court quotes below are all either spoken by Morgan le Fay or refer to Morgan le Fay. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
).
Chapter 18 Quotes

Oh, it was no use to waste sense on her. Training—training is everything; training is all there is to a person. We speak of nature; it is folly; there is no such thing as nature; what we call by that misleading name is merely heredity and training. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us. All that is original in us, and therefore fairly creditable or discreditable to us, can be covered up and hidden by the point of a cambric needle, all the rest being atoms contributed by, and inherited from, a procession of ancestors that stretches back a billion years to the Adam-clam or grasshopper or monkey from whom our race has been so tediously and ostentatiously and unprofitably developed.

Related Characters: Hank Morgan (speaker), Morgan le Fay
Page Number: 119-120
Explanation and Analysis:
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Morgan le Fay Character Timeline in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

The timeline below shows where the character Morgan le Fay appears in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16: Morgan le Fay
Imperialism  Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture  Theme Icon
The sales-knight tells Hank that the castle belongs to Morgan le Fay, King Arthur’s sister. Then he admits that his sales trip is going poorly.... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
Morgan le Fay has an unpleasant reputation. She’s a sorceress, a wicked and devilish woman full... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
When Hank momentarily forgets the bad blood between Morgan and her brother and compliments King Arthur, Morgan orders him into the dungeon. Fortunately, Sandy... (full context)
Chapter 17: A Royal Banquet
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
Morgan tries to give Hank an excuse to show off. The call to evening prayer spares... (full context)
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
Suddenly, an old woman hobbles into the hall, calling a curse down on Morgan for killing her grandson (the servant she murdered earlier). Unafraid of the curse, Morgan instantly... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
...lull in the after-dinner conversation, Hank hears a scream from the depths of the castle. Morgan offers to take Hank to see the “blithe sight”: her executioners are torturing a man... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
...child. A horrified Hank stops the execution. He has the peasant unbound and then dismisses Morgan and her men, leaning on his position as “The Boss” to secure their compliance. (full context)
Chapter 18: In the Queen’s Dungeons
Imperialism  Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture  Theme Icon
Morgan is outraged to have been denied the peasant’s property or his life. While Hank admits... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
Hank and Morgan have mutually unintelligible concepts of justice. Morgan believes that she has the right to take... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
...Hank wants to leave, but his conscience demands that he first examine the contents of Morgan le Fay’s dungeons. He finds a woman who was imprisoned on her wedding night nine... (full context)
New World vs. Old World  Theme Icon
Imperialism  Theme Icon
Superiority, Power, and Authority Theme Icon
Hank orders all but one of Morgan’s 47 prisoners released. The one prisoner who remains imprisoned is awaiting execution for murdering one... (full context)
Imperialism  Theme Icon
Nature vs. Nurture  Theme Icon
...photograph the spectacle they present as evidence against the cruelty of the monarchy and Church. Morgan, who can’t possibly know what “photograph” means, grabs an ax and offers to do it... (full context)