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In A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court, what does Hank think about armour?

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littledevil | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 21, 2010 at 9:35 PM via web

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In A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court, what does Hank think about armour?

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

Posted December 8, 2010 at 7:31 PM (Answer #1)

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We can clearly deduce Hank's thoughts about armour and its use in Chapter 39, when he has his duel with Sir Sagramor. Key to discerning this inference is the comparison with how Sir Sagramor and Hank enter the battle. Note how Sir Sagramor enters first to roars of applause:

Out from his tent rode great Sir Sagramor, an imposing tower of iron, stately and rigid, his huge spear standing upright in its socket and grasped in his strong hand, his grand horse's face and breast cased in steel, his body clothed in rich trappings that almost dragged the ground - oh, a most noble picture.

It is clear that Sir Sagramor is described in terms that emphasise his strength and the way that his armour adds to his strong, protected state. Hank uses a metaphor to describe him as an "imposing tower of iron," highlighting how strong and invincible Sir Sagramor appears because of his armour.

And yet, when Hank enters, he is met not by cheers but by mocking, largely because of his attire:

I was in the simplest and comfortablest of gymnast costumes - flesh-coloured tights from neck to heel, with blue silk puffings about my loins, and bareheaded. My horse was not above medium size, but he was alert, slender-limbed, muscled with watch[springs, and just a greyhound to go.

Of course, this indicates that to Hank, armour is restrictive, uncomfortable and not helpful when it comes to battle. He goes on to prove this by beating Sir Sagramor with ease because of his agility, swiftness and unencumbered state.

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