How does King of Salem assist Santiago on his journey in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?

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The Alchemist is a novel written by Paulo Coelho. This novel is about a young man named Santiago and his search to find his Personal Legend.

Santiago first begins his search for his Personal Legend when this concept is introduced to him by the King of Salem. The King of Salem is a man named Melchizedek. Melchizedek is a mysterious man and Santiago is immediately intrigued by the idea of finding his Personal Legend in order to find his treasure. By meeting the King of Salem, or Melchizedek, Santiago's journey is able to begin. Had the two never crossed paths, Santiago would likely continue selling his sheep and the story would not occur.

Melchizedek first gets Santiago's attention when he is able to read his mind. Santiago also decides that this strange old man must really be a king when Melchizedek shows Santiago the breastplate he wears that is golden and covered in precious stones.

Santiago learns many lessons from the King of Salem who assists him on his journey to find his Personal Legend. Santiago learns that he is in control of his own destiny and that he, like all humans, is connected to the universe.

A final way that the King of Salem assists Santiago is by giving him two special stones. These stones, Urim and Thummim, are tools that Santiago uses to make important decisions.

Overall, Melchizedek is a major character in this novel and is the reason the story exists.

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It is the King of Salem, also known as Melchizedek, who gives Santiago the push that he needs to go off in pursuit of his Personal Legend. He helps Santiago interpret his dream and tells him what is perhaps the most important and central lesson of this story: that fate is a lie and we always have control over our destiny.

This is just what Santiago needs to hear in order to set off for the Pyramids and his treasure. If not, he would have been content, but not fulfilled, to remain a shepherd for the rest of his life and always wonder what might have been.

The King of Salem explains to Santiago the idea that he is connected to all things in creation. That in order to achieve his personal legend, he must listen to the omens that occur around him. If he were to ignore these omens, they would cease to speak to him. This lesson is reaffirmed later in the story by the Alchemist himself. To help Santiago better listen to the Soul of the World, the King of Salem gives Santiago two stones, Urim and Thummim, to help him make important decisions should he find himself unable to make up his mind himself.

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In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, the King of Salem, also known as Melchizedek, is the individual in the story who actually starts Santiago on the correct path to realize his Personal Legend.

When Santiago meets the King of Salem, the old man at first irritates the boy. Soon Santiago realizes that Melchizedek knows things about him that he shouldn't—they are strangers.

...the boy was able to read what the old man had written in the sand.

There, in the sand of the plaza of that small city, the boy read the names of his father and his mother and the name of the seminary he had attended...

Then the King of Salem introduces the topic of one's Personal Legend, something the boy has never heard of. Melchizedek explains:

It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.

At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible...

The king also explains that a mysterious force tries to stop people from realizing their Personal Legend, but that it is actually a force that "prepares your spirit and your will..."

And then, Melchizedek says...

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

The King of Salem comes to Santiago because he realizes that Santiago is ready to give up searching for his Personal Legend. In fact, Melchizedek notes that he always appears in one way or another, as a "solution, or a good idea," to keep people going so they don't stop when they have come so close to realizing their Personal Legend.

When Santiago finally sells his sheep, the old man tells the boy about omens and how important they are, echoing words his grandfather had once told him. The old man also give Santiago two stones: Urim and Thummim, to help him make important decisions.

In essence, the King of Salem introduces Santiago to the most important concept: that of the Personal Legend and its oneness with all things. The king advises him to watch for omens, which will keep him on the correct path. And he gives Santiago knowledge and encouragement to carry with him to guide him along the way. Had it not been for the King of Salem, Santiago would never have realized his Personal Legend, which leads him to great happiness.


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