“In a land of myth, and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name, Merlin”
If you are a fan of the Merlin TV series, it is not unfamiliar with the aforementioned words. This wonderful Teledrama series firstly released on BBC One in Britain is one of the most popular Teledramas.
Coming to the Camelot town from a difficult village called Ealdor, a young man named Merlin goes to work at the Camelot palace under the care of Dr. Gaius, a royal physician. While keeping a mystery. He also had to serve under Prince Arthur, who was not very mature at the time and a bit of a troublemaker. After that, this wonderful Tele series will flow through the heroic adventures of the two of them.
According to legend, Merlin did not always stay with Arthur. But in the Marlin Tele series, it is described as a wonderful friendship.
By then we had watched robin hood stories and creations woven around the Arthur kings, so legends based on Britain were no strangers to us. So Merlin is one of the most popular legends in Britain. Speaking of Arthurian legends (means, legends based on King Arthur) Merlin was a person who did a great service for King Arthur. But due to the influence of different opinions and beliefs, it is a little difficult for us today to understand the true nature of Merlin.
Merlin in the face of Christian beliefs.
Merlin is one of the most important figures in Arthurian legend as well as in wales literature. He defended the throne of England on behalf of King Arthur, He was a man who helped the king to establish a successful foundation for government in the early stages of his life. However, Merlin is not a simple hero as shown in the BBC telecast. According to medieval traditions, the Merlin was a powerful one created by the devil for the decline of Christianity. How could such a character be attributed to Merlin who was a good man in legends?.
Merlin, a man who lived in England before the Christian faith took root. In the Pre-Christian era in England, people had a variety of other faiths and beliefs. These beliefs and traditions had to be tolerated by the Christian clergy in the early days of the establishment of Christianity in England.
Even among the new converts to Christianity, these traditional beliefs did not go away completely. As its power gradually increased, the church became impatient with those beliefs that they considered pagan and began to oppose them. Accordingly, the church began to refer to people who practiced ancient beliefs as pagans or sorcerers.
This Christian influence is also felt in the legend of King Arthur, who was nurtured by ancient beliefs, beliefs, and Celtic folklore. Even Merlin, who played a central role in the Arthurian legend, could not escape it. Although Merlin is a good man, he is a magician because of the aforementioned facts.
The magical ability of demons
In the twelfth century, Frenchman Robert De Boron gave a Christian perspective to the birth of the magician Merlin through a poem. According to that poem, the devil was very angry about the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ to save humanity from the torments of hell and sends an antichrist into the world to eliminate them. He chooses a strong, devout woman from a religious family for that.
The demons harm their family, and her parents commit suicide under the influence of the devil. She is sexually abused in her sleep by this demonic influence. The next day, she goes to see her family’s confessional priest. The priest blesses her womb with the sign of the cross, and as a result, Merlin becomes a baptized person.
Baptism removes the evil spirit from Merlin, but he is born under the influence of the devil and his magical ability remains. That is how Merlin became a “good magician” in the Christian faith. Other events related to the legend of King Arthur have thus been influenced by Christianity.
Merlin in the face of the old faith
Merlin is not only a magician. He is a prophet, mentor, and teacher. According to myths, he is a boy who lost his father. Pretending to be an old, intelligent man, he has generously given his wisdom to four British kings. But as a human being, he was not without weaknesses.
It is said that Merlin could not control his lust in front of beautiful women. He also fled to the jungle-like a lunatic after a bloody battle, where he is said to have learned to talk to animals. During this time, Merlin became known as the “Wild Man”. He was the last member of an ancient group of priests called druids who came from Celtic beliefs. druids were a group of priests that close to the environment and worked as the Defenders of knowledge and Mysterious secrets.
Although Merlin’s birth was problematic, it was not a hindrance to people of ancient religions and faiths. But when the character Merlin is literalized, certain things are attributed to his birth. Much of that attribution is due to Christian influence as before. For example, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s story of the kings of Britain, written around 1137, Merlin’s mother was a virgin, and she swore she had never been with any man. But this book by Geoffrey of Monmouth states that once upon a time no creature took the form of a young handsome guy and she got pregnant because he kissed her.
In the face of Merlin’s troubled birth, these authors may have assumed that it was caused by demonic influence. Geoffrey is not a creator who cares about this mysterious origin. But he established a connection between merlin and inhuman forces based on the troubled birth of Merlin in the legends.
However, In French and English literature Merlin undergoes a series of Christian rites to ensure that he came to the right side from the moment he was born. The designers have worked hard to emphasize that he was immediately baptized and brought to Christianity. As a result of all of that, Merlin becomes a hero in the Christian foundation who has been a legend among the indigenous British people since ancient times. But this will inevitably lead to the disappearance of Merlin from pre-church religious beliefs in Great Britain.
Although no real Merlin can be found in the literature, the true Merlin remains to some extent in the legends that still survive today. But those legends tell different stories about Merlin’s origin, life, and abilities. It is not a surprise, because, Merlin is not a historical story but a legend. Although there is clear physical evidence for a historical event, legends do not. So they change easily.
Merlin- Arthur link
Arthur’s father, Uther, once fell in love with Igraine, the wife of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. Merlin helped that. When Gorlois dies Uther married Igraine but she was pregnant at that time.
According to writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth and Wes, Except for Merlin’s prophecy that the British would defeat the Saxons with the help of the future King Arthur, Merlin was never with him during Arthur’s reign. However, Many later writers say that Merlin was involved in Arthur’s education.
It is believed that Merlin created the legend that a man capable of rescuing a sword sunk from a rock would be fit to rule after Uther. He wanted to somehow establish Arthur’s kingdom. It is said that some lords were dissatisfied when only Arthur was able to draw the sword. According to another legend, in a battle with a king named Pellinore, this sword that took from the stone was destroyed by Arthur. Then Merlin takes Arthur to a lake and gives him a new one. This new sword is nothing but the famous “Excalibur “sword.
“The scabbard of the sword is better than the sword because it prevents wounds and bleeds” Merlin is said to have advised in giving the Excalibur sword to the young king.
How Merlin’s fate was resolved.
Merlin’s death is as obscure as his birth. Several legends are surrounding his death, and according to some, he disappeared spontaneously.
According to some legends, Merlin was bewitched by an unmarried woman or an angel. This woman is believed to be none other than the lady of the lake who was the first to give the Excalibur sword to Arthur. She is called “lady of the lake”.
Several myths have resurfaced about what happened to Merlin at the hands of the woman in the team. While on his way to retrieve the Excalibur sword, Arthur saw only a lake, but the lake is said to have been used by this magical woman to hide from the human world. That woman has many other names. Niniane, Viviane, and Nimue are some of them.
She was only 12 years old when she first met Merlin. She was amazed at the magical power of Merlin. She promised Merlin that she would love him if Merlin taught her all his crafts. Years later, Merlin finds the magical woman again, and she uses her magic to imprison Merlin in a tower where no power can be exercised.
Merlin No matter how powerful a person is, he falls for this woman’s trick. To win her love, Merlin teaches her his craft. According to other stories, Merlin even built a house for her near Lake Diana in the Magical Forest of Brocéliande. He uses his magic to hide her home from enemies. Because of Merlin’s magic, anyone passing by would see the lake instead of her home. Maybe that’s why this girl is called the “lady of the lake”.
However, this article is primarily based on a small part of Merlin’s legend. There are plenty of other stories related to his life. Even watching the Merlin Tele series we can read the character of Merlin from a different angle.