Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Classics Retold: A Little Bit about Merlyn

Okay, so I'm wayyyy behind on my Classics Retold thing. When I signed up I don't think I was 100% sure I would be getting married at the end of August but I knew it was something I really wanted to do and I still do. While I haven't gotten as much done as I would like, I'm still planning on reading or listening to (I haven't decided which) Avalon High by Meg Cabot, watching an episode or two of Merlin and re watching The Sword in the Stone (if I can find my son's copy!). I also want to read at least some of The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White.

I have also decided to change my primary text to The Once and Future King by T.H. White because it's a book I've already read and loved and want to re-read some of it. It has some seriously great quotes!

Anyways, today I thought it would be fun to talk a little about how Merlin came to be a part of Arthurian legend and how his role has changed.

Merlin first popped into Arthurian legend in Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth. That's why I originally wanted that book to be my original text but...ya know how things somehow go. Moving on, basically what our good pal Geoffrey did is mix two characters together to form Merlin. Obviously, it caught on and evolved over time.

My personal favorite depiction of him is T.H. White's version (also Disney's since it is technically the same version). In it he is portrayed as a eccentric wizard that wants to mentor Aurthur through some very unique teaching methods. Merlyn believed that humans could and should look at other creatures on Earth and learn from them. He believed all animals had something that humans could benefit from learning. He taught Arthur that really aren't any good reasons for war. Also, in White's version Merlyn travels through time backwards. This was always fascinating to me because how exactly is this done? It's really mind-boggling. After much thought, here's how I've interpreted it.

Merlyn lives his life going <-<-<-<-<-<-<-<-
While we live going ->->->->->->->->->

Basically, our yesterday was his tomorrow and our tomorrow was his yesterday.

Interesting, right?

So there's Merlin or Merlyn in a nutshell! What do you think about Merlyn? What's your favorite aspect of him??


  1. I love how you focused on Merlyn! I always found him fascinating in his somewhat eccentric ways! I love the different ways that he has been written over history as well. Great post!

  2. I love Merlin sooo much!! Checking out your other post.


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