Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 20

By Mark Twain

Chapter 20

The Ogre's Castle

  • The pair come across another knight—Sir Madok, one of the Yankee's men—carrying an advertisement for a toothbrush.
  • Sir Madok claims that he is feuding with one Sir Ossaise, who is advertising stove polish. Sir Madok says that Sir Ossaise sent him after a group of potential customers—former prisoners that the Yankee has released—but when he reached them, he realized that they didn't have any teeth… and thus no need for his toothbrushes.
  • The Yankee and Sandy continue on and meet the freed prisoners. When the Yankee sees their wretched condition, he questions his planned peaceful revolution in favor of something bloodier.
  • Soon thereafter, he and Sandy approach the ogre's castle. Oh wait—it's actually a pigsty.
  • When the Yankee points out the true nature of the "castle," Sandy claims that his vision has been bewitched.
  • The Yankee buys all of the pigs—whom Sandy thinks are the abducted maidens—from the swineherd.
  • They take the pigs back to the castle of one of the freed prisoners, and the Yankee grows depressed at Sandy's continued fawning over the "princesses," saying, "I was ashamed of her, ashamed of the human race" (20.8).