Wart and The Master
Many people wish to be an animal if only for a day, just to see what it is like to be that animal. The obvious problem is that nobody knows how to turn himself into an animal. However, in T.H. White’s Once and Future King, Wart has the opportunity to experience life as an animal because his tutor, Merlyn the magician, transforms him into many different animals. Of all the adventures, the most significant transformation to Wart’s kingship occurs when he becomes a badger because the badger teaches Wart valuable lessons about human behavior.
Wart’s transformation into a badger provides him with insight to become a great king. The badger teaches him certain characteristics about humans which help him to rule his kingdom. For example, he states, “True warfare is what happens between bands of the same species” (194). The animals in Wart’s other transformations teach him only about their societies. The most important information that the badger gives to Wart is that humans are one of the only species in the world who fight among themselves. The badger supports this statement when he says, “There are more than four thousand different sorts of them, and from all those kinds I can only think of five which are belligerent. There are the five ants, one termite that I know of, and Man”(194). This insult influences Wart to create the Round Table when he becomes the King. The purpose of the Round Table is to get all the barons to stop fighting among themselves and to form an alliance to fight only to protect the weak. Therefore, the badger’s insult influences the creation of the Round Table.
Wart’s adventure as a badger was the most beneficial transformation to him as a king. The badger catches Wart’s attention when he tells him that he is going to teach him about humans. Then, the badger insults humans by saying that they are one of the only species in which the members...
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