Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 5

By Mark Twain

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Chapter 5

An Inspiration

  • The Yankee falls asleep in his cell and awakens to see Clarence.
  • Clarence laughs at him before assuring him that he cannot escape—besides the man guarding the cell, Merlin has laid an enchantment on the dungeon to keep him there.
  • The Yankee laughs right back and claims that Merlin is a big phony, despite Clarence's obvious terror. He supposes that if everyone in this time is as superstitious as Clarence, he will soon have them dancing to his tune.
  • The Yankee claims to be a magician himself, and tells Clarence that if Arthur doesn't set him free, he'll create a great catastrophe. He initially worries that Clarence will see through the ruse, but soon realize he has a ringer in the upcoming eclipse.
  • Clarence freaks out and tells the court. He then comes back and says that Arthur initially believed him, but Merlin sunk that by claiming that the Yankee did not name the calamity.
  • Hank the Yank is on it, though, and says that if he is not let go, he will blot out the sun at noon the next day: the day of his execution.

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