King Arthur And Merlin
Merlin is a popular character when it comes to the stories of King Arthur and
other stories dealing with the Arthurian age. In most of the stories written
about him they refer to him as the magician, kingmaker, and prophet. We also
know him as the one that takes care of Arthur from birth, who set him on the
throne, who established him there in the early days of his reign as king. While
most books agree that he knew King Arthur and watched over him from birth, what
was he really, was he a magician with a beard in a tall pointed hat and long
cloak with a magic wand that performed magic or was he a prophet that could for
see the future as portrayed in the "Crystal Cave" or was he something else.

In the "Crystal Cave" Merlin is portrayed as a prophet that can see into the
future with the help of the pattern of crystals in the cave that he discovered.

Here he is not portrayed as a magician but rather it shows us his technical
abilities, like when he moved "Hele Stone" of Stonehenge with the machine he
built, rather then raising the whole stone or causing it to fly through the air
or float across the sea. He is then portrayed as the "kingmaker" when at the
end he is given Arthur to raise and teach so he would be ready to take over the
thrown when he got older. Merlin may also be known as a lover "Last

Enchantment", when while under Arthur’s rule, Merlin retires to the
wilderness and there is attacked y a subtle poison given to him by Morgause, he
is later nursed back to health by a young girl named Ninian. After that Ninian
becomes Merlin’s pupil until in the end when his powers begin to fade and she
takes over the role of guardian of Arthur’s realm. "Merlin’s more
passionate side is also showed in a book written by James Branch Cabell. In the
book titled "Something About Eve" Merlin is summoned along with King Solomon
and Odysseus to give an account of himself before the passes ‘into the realms
of the otherworld’ to discover the true meaning of his life, here Merlin
confesses that he was happy for a long time in his tower, until he saw his
people of the Arthurian age begin to break each other and to become filled with
hate and lust and barbarity. But even then he lingers on, happy with his child
love and peace of his tower, only now does he seek enlightenment in the

Otherworld, where he might find failure of his dream."(Stewart, 96) Merlin for
whatever reason does not cease to be concerned with this world and the people
who live in it. Merlin’s love of women, sometimes moralized into a sexual
weakness, is a reflection of his otherworldly father’s love for his mother.

This in turn relates to one of the most ancient mythical themes, and like all

Merlinic lore is intimately concerned with both environment and the spiritual
intimations found in all religions, magic, and mysticism. Thus the various
sexual convolutions of Merlin in the modern fiction are not merely
misunderstandings of the source of material but are explorations of a universal
theme expressed through the mediating figure of Merlin. Merlin is also seen as a
teacher, like in Parke Godwin’s "Firelord". Here Merlin is in a sense

Arthur’s own inner self, able to show him a vision of the future, of the great
king and warrior whose presence draws the very utmost effort from the men who
follow him, the man that Arthur is to become, driven by the Merlin within. In

T.H. White’s "The Sword in the Stone" Merlin teaches by example, turning

Arthur into animal, fish, or bird. Doing so he learns many things, from his
encounter with a great pike that lives beneath the walls of his
foster-father’s castle, he learns that power for its own sake leads nowhere.

Arthur as a bird discovers that boundaries are an illusion fought over without
reason. All that he learns allows him to portray his good character as he pulls
the sword from the stone that made him king. Him being a teacher is also seen in
the "Crystal Cave" when he is given Arthur at birth to teach because he did
not have a father that wanted him, and so his mother thought that giving the
child to Merlin would be the wisest thing to do. In Catherine Christians "The

Sword