To Exist Is A Wonder

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graphic © eminentlyquotable.com

“To exist is a wonder.
To grow is a necessity.
To learn is a challenge.
To understand is a blessing.
To teach is a privilege.
To love is a miracle.
To die is an adventure.”

– Merlin

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c.1100 – c.1155) was a Welsh cleric best known for his chronicle “Historia Regum Britanniae” or the History of the Kings of Britain, where the standard depicton of Merlin first appeared. Merlin is not a particular person but a combination of different figures in existing stories, a process termed “amalgamation.”

Over time, Merlin became more rounded as a wizard as later writers developed his character, due to his popularity. According to the legend, his mother was a mortal woman but his father was an incubus or a male demon. It was said that his supernatural powers were passed down from his immortal father.

In Geoffrey’s earlier depiction, Merlin is a legendary madman with no relation whatsoever to Arthur. He was based on a poet driven mad by the horrors of war. But in his later books, “Historia Regum Brittanniae” and “Vita Merlini” he included the story of King Arthur and developed Merlin into an ascendant sagehood.

However, the writer credited for humanizing Merlin is the poet Robert de Boron. In his poem “Merlin”, he was intended as an Antichrist but was saved by a priest who baptized him at birth. It was also in Boron’s poem that Merlin was portrayed as fun-loving wizard with the ability to shapeshift. This version was adapted by the portrayal of Merlin in the 2008 TV series, starring Colin Morgan as Merlin.

In the later accounts, it was written that Merlin was betrayed to death by Vivien. However, the Breton Legend says that Merlin climbed into a sacred tree and never came back.

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