'Camelot' And Hope For Our Future
Start writing a post
Entertainment

The Musical 'Camelot' Was A Great Source Of Hope In The '60s; Perhaps It Can Be So Today

A musical version of the tragedy of King Arthur's court doesn't sound like a great message of hope for our struggling civilization. But it can be.

27
The Musical 'Camelot' Was A Great Source Of Hope In The '60s; Perhaps It Can Be So Today

Some confessions to start off with: I've never seen the musical "Camelot" performed live (I'm actually familiar with it through a DVD of the 1982 Broadway revival, which you can actually watch in its entirety on YouTube), and I've only read the first few pages of T.H. White's novel "The Once and Future King", from which the musical is adapted. I am, however, pretty familiar with the King Arthur story, and the musical portrays its contours pretty clearly. King Arthur and Queen Guenevere are the royal couple presiding over the court of Camelot, where the Knights of the Round Table epitomize chivalry; Queen Guenevere embarks on a love affair with Sir Lancelot, the most dashing of Arthur's knights; and the sordid situation provokes a war that brings an end to Camelot and the death of Arthur himself. This is the ultimate myth of English history, absolutely essential to the Western literary imagination. (It's not for nothing that the legend of the Holy Grail serves as the framework for T.S. Eliot's masterpiece "The Waste Land", incidentally also one of my favorites.) It's also the perfect tragedy, portraying a golden age doomed through a forbidden love which no one could stop. In a sense, the story of King Arthur is immortal because it is any and all tragedies, from Oedipus to King Lear.

What makes this work of theatre a work of hope and not of despair is the ending. We know that King Arthur is going to die and that Camelot is dying with him. Yet, before he goes off into battle, he commissions a young boy on fire with love of chivalry to keep his dream alive. King Arthur does not die with his heart broken. Even though his dream has failed in his own lifetime, he is left with the hope that it might survive in the lifetime of another.

One of the most important historical twists of this musical's story is that President Kennedy was very fond of it; this naturally led to the furthering of romantic images of the Kennedy White House as a lost golden age. We cannot get lost in romanticization if we want to move forward as a nation into a bright future, but we can pay tribute to a sense of hope filtered through the recognition of tragedy. No great work of art is ever really a work of despair, because beauty has been produced out of whatever evil is reflected, no matter how daunting it might be.

And what a work of art 'Camelot' is! It starred Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, and Robert Goulet; its lyrics were by Lerner and its music was by Loewe; its costumes and sets were renowned for their spectacular lavishness; its base story cannot be beaten in terms of cultural resonance by any other except perhaps that of Christ. Let your heart be swept away into its beauty as Guenevere tries to forget Lancelot in "Before I Gaze at You Again" and allow your sense of shared human flaws to be awakened via Lancelot's silly self-praise in "C'Est Moi".

Most of all, let your faith in hope surviving through tragedy be reawakened.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

When it comes to wedding planning, each and every detail is customized to the style of the couple. From venue and decorations to food and beverages, nothing gets overlooked — whether your wedding is big, small, or virtual.

The same thing goes for invites, which are getting more and more beautiful every wedding season. If you're looking to customize your wedding invitations, the options are endless... you can add pictures if you wish, opt for fancy artwork, or keep it simple with just text).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

23 Burning Questions We Have For The Taureans In Our Lives, Answered By A Taurus

The remaining 11 signs took the bull by the horns, and it was a fun and insightful experience!

Jordyn Leach

Lately, I've been digging deeper into astrology and studying my sign. Throughout the journey, it's come to my attention that Taurus are probably one of the most complicated signs - that is, if you're not a Taurus.

To gain a little more perspective on how my sign is viewed by the others, I requested that the participants submit a question in response to the following:

Keep Reading... Show less
Universal Pictures

A music enthusiast like myself has a playlist for every mood. Life's a movie and you're the main character. In no specific order, listen to these songs to feel on top of the world!

Pro Tip: turn your crossfade up to 3 seconds for a seamless transition between each song!

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.

@lilyjmoe

CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less

After a few months of self-quarantining, becoming suspicious of every cough, and blowing through masks like a medical school student, restrictions due to the pandemic are easing up a bit and businesses are warily reopening. While these public spaces may look the same on the outside, the way they function and operate is vastly different than a few months ago.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's the most wonderful time of the year again — it's sorority recruitment season! While recruitment can be a fun and memorable experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health, especially this year, considering the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few reminders to keep in your mental health toolkit during recruitment week to help keep your mental health at bay during this unique experience.

Keep Reading... Show less

I work as an orientation leader for my college, and the job included summer housing.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Kamala Harris Is The Biggest Hypocrite Of The #MeToo Movement

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris — and no one wants a hypocrite for a vice president.

Joe Biden just chose Kamala Harris to be his running mate against Donald Trump and Mike Pence in 2020. Now, for many reasons, this is hilarious as I think Biden just solidified his fate and gave the election to President Trump, but that's for another time.

Keep Reading... Show less

With no sign of the pandemic going anywhere, brides and grooms who planned to be married in 2020 are forced to opt for plan B — if not plan C or D. While some are downsizing their in-person weddings to meet coronavirus guidelines and state restrictions, others are choosing to cancel theirs until further notice and some, well, they're embracing the virtual "I do."

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom wedding for my friend and fellow editor and writer, Kristin Magaldi, and the short-but-sweet ceremony left me in happy tears (surprise surprise). In order to get the scoop on what exactly went into planning a virtual wedding, I asked Kristin to share her best tips so other couples know exactly how to have a Zoom wedding in case they're looking to lean into the video chat vows, too.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments