The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

The Round Table Symbol Analysis

The Round Table Symbol Icon
In Book II, The Queen of Air and Darkness, Arthur devises the idea of the Round Table. The Round Table is integral to his concept of Might vs. Right; Arthur wants to find a way to harness the power of Might to ensure Right, so that violence is only ever committed to uphold justice. Fundamental to this idea is the Order of the Round Table—a sort of club where knights keep true to the values of justice and morality to be a part of the Order. The Round Table is conceived as a mechanism for maintaining equality between the knights and so they do not squabble over rank. The Round Table becomes a symbol throughout the novel for Arthur's idea of justice—its literal non-hierarchical form symbolizes Arthur's quest to uphold morality and dissolve the superficial, hierarchical system of chivalry.

The Round Table Quotes in The Once and Future King

The The Once and Future King quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Round Table. 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:
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Ace Books edition of The Once and Future King published in 1987.
Book 3, Chapter 27 Quotes

Simple because we have got justice. We have achieved what we were fighting for, and now we still have the fighters on our hands. Don't you see what has happened? We have run out of things to fight for, so all the fighters of the Table are going to rot.

Related Characters: King Arthur or Wart (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Round Table
Page Number: 433
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 4, Chapter 14 Quotes

There would be a day—there must be a day—when he would come back to Gramayre with a new Round Table which had no corners, just as the world had none—a table without boundaries between the nations who would sit to feast there. The hope of making it would lie in culture.

Related Characters: King Arthur or Wart
Related Symbols: The Round Table
Page Number: 639
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Round Table Symbol Timeline in The Once and Future King

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Round Table appears in The Once and Future King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 8
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
...Merlyn about his vision for the Order. Arthur decides the knights must sit at a round table , to prevent hierarchy, and that he will call them the Knights of the Round... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 8
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Quest and The Holy Grail Theme Icon
...those he conquered to present themselves to Guenever instead. Lancelot then asks Arthur how the Round Table is; Arthur looks despairing: he confesses, he fears it is not working. Instead of the... (full context)
Book 4, Chapter 14
Chivalry, Satire & Medieval Life Theme Icon
Fate (Time) Theme Icon
Might vs. Right Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...his papers. He is tired; he has been broken by the recent two battles. The Round Table is now dispersed. He feels that he has failed the service Merlyn trained him for—to... (full context)