Mary Stewart's The Wicked Day

Essay by morganbabyUniversity, Bachelor's November 2004

download word file, 3 pages 1.0

Downloaded 13 times

This story follows the life of Mordred, painting a very different picture of him than what is commonly seen. Secretly born of an incestuous union between an unknowing Arthur and Morgause, his murderous and manipulative half-sister, Mordred was unaware of his true parentage until his teens. Known to the public, including his brothers Gawain, Agravain, Gaheris, and Gareth, as King Lot's bastard son, he was brought up in Morgause's house and trained like any boy of noble birth would be.

As a young man, Mordred was taken along with the rest of his family to Camelot, where he became favored by the King and Guenevere. Despite Merlin's prophesies that Mordred would be bane to the king, Arthur had come to grips with a much repeated theme throughout this work: "what will be, will be" and it is for the gods to decide. If Mordred would be Arthur's bane, it could not be stopped by the interventions of men.

Mordred and the King became extremely close, and this overshadows almost every other relationship between Arthur and his knights. This work gives scant attention to Arthur's friendship with Gawain, whose characteristic temper causes more trouble than his loyalty resolves. Lancelot does not even exist. Instead, it is Bedwyr who takes that role; including his being accused of infidelity with the Queen and causing the death of Mordred and Gawain's brothers.

Mordred remains loyal to Arthur throughout this novel. He is misinformed that the King has died in the war with Lucius and he therefore follows through on a prearranged agreement with Arthur: that he take the throne and the role of Guenevere's protector. When he finds out that the king lives, it is simply a freak accident and misunderstanding that pits Mordred against his father. Or perhaps not.

It comes...