A Character Analysis Of Merlin

1851 Words8 Pages
The character of Merlin from The Story of Merlin, The Post-Vulgate Merlin Continuation, and Malory's Le Morte Darthur is depicted as an ambiguous, shrewd, and deceptive individual. Each text portrays Merlin slightly differently through his actions and his relationships with other characters. In Malory's Le Morte Darthur, or The Morte, Merlin is portrayed as a straightforward and aloof force of nature with little personality, while in The Continuation, he is more caring and sympathetic toward Arthur. His actions and methods give evidence to his deceptive and somewhat unethical nature. On the other hand, his actions, while somewhat immoral, are done with good intentions. Furthermore, his relationships with certain characters, particularly Arthur, portray him as a wise adviser. This dichotomy between Merlin's immoral acts and inherently good intentions is explored through his origins in The Merlin, which explains that Merlin is a son of a devil and a human mother. Merlin gains his intelligence and knowledge of past events from his father, the devil. And, from God's blessing, he also gains the power to see future events and the ability to choose his own path, either good or evil. In The Merlin, he renounces a path of evil, saying, “And [the devils] said that they would make me. You heard all about it and you learned from my mother and other people about their deeds and tricks--and then the foolishness they are all so full of, for they have lost me and every other advantage” (Merlin 55). While The Morte and The Continuation, do not detail Merlin's origins, The Merlin goes on to explain Merlin's conception and how he came to receive his gifts. It can also provide as some explanation for Merlin's deceptive behavior, considering his father's influences and his ill-repute among the noblemen for being a son of the devil. And he does explicitly renounce evil in The Merlin,

More about A Character Analysis Of Merlin

Open Document