Mark Twain and the Age of Chivalry - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Szokolay Klára (2000) Mark Twain and the Age of Chivalry - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. MA/MSc, Szegedi Tudományegyetem.

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This thesis is about Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a novel which was written in 1889. The novel deals with the life of an everyday man, a Yankee from Hartford, Connecticut, who gets from the 19th century United States into the 6th-century British ruler's, King Arthur's court. The Yankee, Hank Morgan tries to accept his new situation, his new lifeconditions, but he does not succeed. He tries to use his practical American knowledge and way of thinking in practice. He tries to reform the old traditional and superstitious Arthurian feudalism: he adapts American democratic ideas and modern technical inventions in order to make people's life better. Though he fails, he understands the mechanisms of power and that there is nothing new in history - there is no difference between the feudal slavery of Arthur's time and the oppression of 19th-century poor workers. In my work, at first I introduce King Arthur, the legendary hero of the British Isles. It is not exactly known whether he was a real man or only a mythical figure. Then I compare Mark Twain's Arthur description with a 15th-century romance: Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. Thomas Malory gave an idyllic tableau of the age of Arthur, the age of chivalry, however Mark Twain showed it as the age of barbarism and oppression. In the next chapter I explain Mark Twain's concept about the Middle Ages. I try to examine the essence of his social criticism: how he saw the aristocracy and the role of the Established Church (and Catholicism), not only in the 6th, but also in the 19th century. Hank Morgan is a thinking hero - if he is a hero at all. At least I examine the possibilities of the novel's interpretation. It can be a utopia, a dystopia or a satire. The satirical elements are emphasised by the use of language, the characters, the style and the time-plot structure.


Szegedi Tudományegyetem


Gyula Juhász Teacher Training College


Angol Tanszék


Teacher Training




SupervisorSupervisor scientific name labelEmailEHA

Item Type: Thesis (MA/MSc)
Date: 2000
Depositing User: JGYPK Szerkesztő
Date Deposited: 2019. Jun. 04. 13:21
Last Modified: 2019. Jun. 06. 07:39

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