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Camelot

When I was a lad of eighteen, our King d

...

King Arthur

Camelot

See more monologues from Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe



Basics

Show
Character
Gender
Male
Age Range
Adult
Style
Dramatic
Length
Medium
Time Period
Contemporary
Show Type
Musical


Monologue Text

When I was a lad of eighteen, our King died in London and left no one to succeed him; only a sword stuck through an anvil which stood on a stone. Written on it in letters of gold it said: "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise King bom of all England." Many chaps tried to dislodge it, and none could. Finally a great tournament was proclaimed for New Year's Day, so that all the mightiest knights in England would be assembled at one time to have a go at the sword.

I went to London as squire to my cousin, Sir Kay. The morning of the tournament, Kay discovered he'd left his sword at home and gave me a shilling to ride back to fetch it. On my way through London, I passed a square and saw there a sword rising from a stone. Not thinking very quickly, I thought it was a war memorial. The square was deserted, so I decided to save myself a journey and borrow it. I tried to pull it out. I failed. I tried again. I failed again. Then I closed my eyes and with all my force tried one last time. Lo, it moved in my hand. Then slowly it slid out of the stone. I heard a great roar. When I opened my eyes, the square was filled with people shouting: "Long live the King! Long live the King!" Then I looked at the sword and saw the blade gleaming with letters of gold.

That's how I became King. I never knew I would be. I never wanted to be. And since I am, I have been ill at ease in my crown. Until I dropped from the tree and my eye beheld you. Then suddenly, for the first time, I felt I was King. I was glad to be King. And most astonishing of all, I wanted to be the wisest, most heroic, most splendid Kiilg who ever sat on any throne. (There is a moment of silence) If you will come with me, Milady, I will arrange for the carriage to return you to your father.