The Sword and the Stone

Excalibur acts as a character in the Sword In the Stone. The sword is a symbol of divine kingship and the responsibility of power.

In Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, one side of Arthur’s sword is engraved ” in the oldest tongue of all this world,/ ‘Take me, but turn the blade and ye shall see,/And written in the speech ye speak yourself,/’Cast me away!'” Tennyson describes Arthur’s face as sad as he receives the sword, though Merlin counsels, “‘Take thou and strike! the time to cast away/Is yet far-off.'” From the very words etched on the sword, we immediately see the cyclical nature of kingship. “Take me” becomes a call-to-arms for Arthur. By grasping the sword, Arthur accepts responsibility that leadership entails, his sadness an acknowledgement that his power will inevitably wane.

Now, comes the mystery… Is Excalibur Real?

So, let’s review.

You have your first section of the summer assignment due in a little over three weeks. So, if we were timing everything perfectly, you should have bought and started reading the first book of Once and Future King— The Sword and the Stone.

Let’s see how well you know it. Before you take the quizzes on Edmodo, test your knowledge with this Jeopardy game. See how well you do, before you take the review quiz.

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