Since I am so very free, I have decided to catch up on Arthurian legend. Just for my own reference, here’s a list of all that happens in the chapter Merlin (by Steinbeck):
King Uther Pendragon seduces Duchess Igraine with Merlin’s trickery, and Arthur is conceived
Why does Merlin take Arthur away to Sir Ector?
Arthur “accidentally” draws the sword, the decision is delayed three times: Candlemas, Easter and finally Pentecost
6 northern lords besiege Arthur at Caerleon
Kings Ban of Benwick and Bors of Gaul join Arthur, and the mystifying 8 knights of Claudas
the melee on Allhallows day
11 northern lords held at Bedgrayne and the premature ambush by Ban and Bors’s knights
Merlin advises retreat, and Arthur recognises the worth of his rivals
Arthur sleeps with his half-sister and Mordred is conceived; he has a dream of serpents running amok on his lands
Arthur meets Igraine, Sir Ulfius’s outburst and Igraine admits her son
Knights from the Roman emperor are rebuffed
King Arthur is defeated by King Pellinore and his sword in the stone is shattered
The Lady of the Lake gives a sword and asks something in return
King Royns of North Wales wants Arthur’s beard
Arthur sends the babies to die
the “good man” saves Mordred
Really excellent stuff. I am confused on some points however.
Why does Merlin assist Pendragon in his attempt to cuckold the duke?
Why did the melee on Allhallows Day turn bloody?
Who is to blame for the trouble of the northern lords?
Is Arthur’s actions consistent with his ‘chivalry’? How are we supposed to deal with his duplicity?