Arthur Becomes King of Britain
by Eric Bryan
| 5 Questions
Part I.
Directions: Answer the following questions in complete sentences after reading T.H. White's "Arthur Becomes King."
In this story, how does White (the author) show us that Arthur was not a very likely person to become the King of England? Use specific evidence from the story for support.
White’s main source for his novel was Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. However, Malory tells us very little about the thoughts or feelings of the main characters. White, on the other hand, makes his characters seem like real people, so that we can identify with them. What thoughts and feelings does Arthur express after Sir Kay has rather rudely ordered him to find his sword? In this incident, what kind of person does White show the young Arthur to be?
How does the character of Kay contrast with the character of Arthur? What are you supposed to think of Kay?
What details in the account of Arthur’s “trial” with the sword show that he has extraordinary abilities that set him apart from others?
Part II.
A reference to something/someone out of proper historical time is called an anachronism. For example, if T.H. White had described a lady looking at her watch, he would be using an anachronism because watches had not been invented yet. White intended to add humor (whether it worked well or not) to his version of Arthur becoming king by placing anachronisms into the story.

Make a list of eight (8) anachronisms you can find in “Arthur Becomes King of Britain.”

HINT: Anachronisms can be found in narration, character dialogue, description, etc. Look for the examples carefully. There are approximately 20 anachronisms found throughout the story.

The Middle Ages covered the years 500 AD - 1500 AD. When you find something that you think could be an anachronism, look it up using a dictionary website or app. Look for an area where it reveals the years of first usage. If it falls within those years or a little prior, then it is NOT an anachronism. If the years of usage are after the years 500-1500, then it is most likely an anachronism, therefore being too modern for the setting of the story.

Use the following links to access a dictionary:
Create your list of anachronisms in the space below:

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