In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the narrator and protagonist Hank Morgan finds himself transported to the legendary Camelot, the castle and court associated with King Arthur. This medieval setting plays a pivotal role in the novel's premise, as Twain cleverly employs it to satirize monarchy, feudalism, and chivalry. The setting importantly becomes a canvas for his critique of the perceived backwardness and ignorance of the era.
The clash between Hank Morgan's modern knowledge and the medieval setting creates plenty of tension and drama. Hank's attempts to introduce technological innovations and challenge the status quo of the court lead to conflicts and confrontations. The setting serves as a backdrop for these conflicts, highlighting the resistance to change and the consequences of challenging established norms.
Through the stark contrast between 19th century America, with its democracy and technology, and the brutal and ignorant 6th century Britain depicted in the story, Twain also skillfully critiques the past. He uses Camelot's political system to draw parallels and humorous comparisons to 19th century American society, effectively highlighting the flaws and absurdities of both eras. Ultimately, Twain's choice of a 6th century setting serves as a satirical lens through which he humorously critiques his own contemporary society.