What obstacles does Wart have to overcome in The Once and Future King?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the interesting aspects of this retelling of the famous Arthur legend is the characterisation of King Arthur, or Wart, as he is affectionately refered to by Merlin. Arthur is not shown to be a legendary hero of mythic status, but is rather presented as an honest but rather naive individual who is a bit dim. This is certainly one of the barriers that Wart has to work hard to overcome, and is shown most clearly when Merlyn tries to teach Wart the necessary skills he will need. Although Wart struggles to master these lessons, he perseveres. This lack of intelligence is something that means Arthur's rule is never easy, as he constantly has to work hard to maintain justice and peace.

His second major flaw is the way that he is too good. He constantly believes the best of those around him, even when he has ample evidence that suggests otherwise. Note the way in which he continues to think well of Queen Morgause, and the manner in which he successfully and consciously ignores the reality of what is going on between Lancelot and Guenever. Even though the actions of these two characters threaten the peace and harmony that Arthur has worked so hard to achieve, Arthur refuses to confront them.

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