Event Title

The Pitfalls of Adaptation in BBC’s Merlin

Presenter Information

Amy Moore, Winthrop UniversityFollow

Faculty Mentor

Jo Koster, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English

Location

West Center, Room 219

Start Date

21-4-2017 3:00 PM

Description

The BBC’s Merlin is a bright, active, and charming modern take on the stories of King Arthur and the Round Table that are so adored by Western art. However, in this paper I take a critical look at some of the adaptational missteps taken by the writers of Merlin through comparison to Chretien de Troyes’s “Perceval, or the Story of the Grail” and sections of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. These missteps include the inherent problems with removing religion from the hyper-Christian medieval Arthur without replacing its role in the legends with a comparable modern ideological stance; the television series’s halfhearted attempts to produce both a retelling of the love among Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere and create a passionate love story that will enrapture modern audiences; and the overall lack of narrative cohesion that is Merlin’s ultimate downfall as both an adaptation and a piece of art on its own merits. This critical take on BBC Merlin is meant to demonstrate that the television series’s lack of strong commitment to new narrative and modern morality undermine its attempts to appeal to a secular audience. The completed paper has a length of 2,487 words and can be delivered in under twenty minutes.

Course Assignment

ENGL 307 – Koster

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Apr 21st, 3:00 PM

The Pitfalls of Adaptation in BBC’s Merlin

West Center, Room 219

The BBC’s Merlin is a bright, active, and charming modern take on the stories of King Arthur and the Round Table that are so adored by Western art. However, in this paper I take a critical look at some of the adaptational missteps taken by the writers of Merlin through comparison to Chretien de Troyes’s “Perceval, or the Story of the Grail” and sections of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. These missteps include the inherent problems with removing religion from the hyper-Christian medieval Arthur without replacing its role in the legends with a comparable modern ideological stance; the television series’s halfhearted attempts to produce both a retelling of the love among Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere and create a passionate love story that will enrapture modern audiences; and the overall lack of narrative cohesion that is Merlin’s ultimate downfall as both an adaptation and a piece of art on its own merits. This critical take on BBC Merlin is meant to demonstrate that the television series’s lack of strong commitment to new narrative and modern morality undermine its attempts to appeal to a secular audience. The completed paper has a length of 2,487 words and can be delivered in under twenty minutes.