We all at one point or another dream. Imagine you are in another place or a another time, the future maybe, even maybe the past where years, days, centuries, minutes all irrelevant if you have imagination. I now dream of a time and place were men have such things as bravery and honor. I now speak of Camolot. The legendary castle wear Merlin the priest, Merlin the magie, and Merlin the wise is supposed to have lived. I am not the only person to dream this dream, many play writers and actors have shared this wonderful trip through time and space to where we may all interpret an event as we see fit. I will now show you who the real Merlin was and whom actors have made him out to be. I will then draw a parallel between the two times. I shall also tell you how merlin him self became part of this dream…
Merlin, a man, or just stories to amuse everyone , myths, legends, or tall tails such as Santa Clause or the Easter bunny. Like the real King Arthur who was (really a 6th century ruler) transported through time to better fit the needs of the populas. The “transporting” begins in and around the 15th century. A man by the name of Thomas Malory felt the extreme need to give France, his country, a hero(s) in a time of great disappear. He felt it necessary to do this because the feudalist time in which he was living in, was slowly dying. He thought that if he could show people how many great hero(s) came out of this time period it would revive and flourish once more. He then turned to history to find such a hero. As needed to remedy the situation he found King Arthur of Britain. Even though a English man or a Britainian, he was said to be the best ruler to date (1500’s.) Now that King Arthur has been chosen and changed a little to fit in with chivalry, part of feudalism he now needed a teacher. Researching even further he found a Druid priest by the name of Merlin.
Druidism is and was a religion that delt with nature. There temple, church, meeting place, what ever you would like to call it, was a grove or thicket. They made sacrifice of animals and offered wheat, rice, and other grains. It was believe that Druid people were magical or even demons and monsters of some sort. Merlin was (as said before) infact a Druid priest. Merlin was a thinker and a very wise man. It was said that Merlin was the son of a demon, his father was not very popular man so to speak. He was a count and was not loved by his people for his choise of religion. It was also said that he was all knowing and all seeing. For this reason he was choosen and hand picked to be a part in the Legends of King Arthur. He was estimated to have lived some time in the 4 or 500’s. So now the whole process of transportation has been explained.
Movies have portrayed Merlin in so many ways that I shall only pick a few to share with you. The first film that I shall share and review for you is The Sword in The Stone, a cute and amusing animated story for all ages but never the less it shows a side of Merlin that is not seen any were else. Yes of course it shows the person who uses magic and all that kind of stuff, but he is a comedian, he helps the young King Arthur learn to be a fair ruler and how also to be a well respected man. Even though it is a cartoon it is still a little comical about the part. Merlin uses his magic to turn a bad lady in to a number of silly animals. The real Merlin did not use magic. Nor to the best of any body’s knowledge did he turn any body into a number of silly animals. This shows that as said in the first paragraph some one just made him out to be from there imagination.
Next on the line up is Excaliber. In this story Merlin is portrayed as a unsung hero. If it were not for him King Arthur would have lost a war. He went out on his own battled the evil Morgana sister of the king. She had put a spell on her son (years ago she tricked Arthur into sleeping with her and bore a son form the event) so that no man could ever hurt him when he was wearing this one suit of armor. Merlin, since he is all seeing and all knowing found out about this and went to do something about it. He, well teliporteted himself to the cave were Morgana and child were living (the day before the battle or war was to take place) and changes the spell and removes another spell Morgana had put on her self to keep herself young. Also Merlin looks different in this film he is not very old and has very short hair, so he wears a metallic cap that covers the very top of his head. Now to show you the differences between the real Merlin and the Merlin in this movie, first of all Merlin was a humble person and would not go out and fight. And as said before he did not use magic.
As my last movie comparison I choose to talk about Camolot. This film is the same film as viewed in class. In this film Merlin is more what like the real Merlin would have been like. He trains Arthur to think not fight. He tells Arthur to “IMAGINE” he was other things such as animals. For example Merlin says be a hawk, and Arthur becomes a hawk flying through the sky, When Merlin asks “What do you see?” As an answer Arthur says “I can see everything.” “Can you see camalot?” asked Merlin. “Yes I can !” “Can you see the next county?” Asked Merlin. “Yes I can! But only the center not the edges.” “What dose this mean” asks Merlin? As a story this comes very very close to being what the real Merlin was like. Ecept THE REAL MERLIN DID NOT USE MAGIC as said before.
In conclusion I submit to you that there was a Merlin that lived in Camolot and was funny as well as fought a woman named Morgana, as long as movie people can twist the truth.
Actors played a major role of course in the portrayal of the many Merlins. In The Sword in The Stone there was alot of people working on Merlin. He was a cartoon so there was many animators and three different people worked on the voice. In Excaliber actor who played the part of Merlin was Nicol Williamson. I do not know who played the part of Merlin in Camolot that information I did not have access to at this time.
1. “Merlin” Encyclopedia America
vol. 18 copy write 1984 pages 726-727
2. Excaleber (Blockbuster video)
3. The Sword in The Stone (Blockbuster video)
4. Camalot (Blockbuster video)