We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
GO TO SAT PREP GO TO ACT PREP
Le Morte D'Arthur

Le Morte D'Arthur

  

by Sir Thomas Malory

Merlin Timeline and Summary

  • Merlin enchants Uther to look like Gorlois and helps him to sleep with Igrayne, conceiving Arthur in the process. He then arranges for Arthur to be fostered by Sir Ector.
  • When Merlin places the sword in the stone in a churchyard in London, he writes an inscription saying that the person who can pull it out is King of England.
  • In the guise of an old man, Merlin informs Arthur of his parentage. Then, disguised as a young boy, he tells Arthur about Mordred, who will one day be the downfall of Arthur's kingdom.
  • Merlin helps Arthur to find Excalibur, the sword that enables him to defeat whomever he wields it against.
  • In the "Tale of Balyn and Balan," Merlin warns Balyn that he will strike a dolorous stroke that will destroy a kingdom, and then rescues him from a castle when that very same dolorous stroke causes it to fall.
  • Despite his many misgivings, Merlin arranges for Arthur to marry Gwenyvere.
  • Finally, Merlin falls in love with Nenyve, who imprisons him in a rock when she tires of his attentions. And so goes Merlin.
Advertisement