Theme Of Chaos In A Midsummer Nights Dream

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Theme Of Chaos In A Midsummer Nights Dream



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Felix Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (with score)

The text of the play was not published until the First Folio , under the title The first part of Henry the Sixt. When it came to be called Part 1 is unclear, although most critics tend to assume it was the invention of the First Folio editors, John Heminges and Henry Condell , as there are no references to the play under the title Part 1 , or any derivative thereof, prior to Some critics argue that the Henry VI trilogy were the first plays based on recent English history, and, as such, they deserve an elevated position in the canon and a more central role in Shakespearean criticism.

According to F. Wilson, for example, "There is no certain evidence that any dramatist before the defeat of the Spanish Armada in dared to put upon the public stage a play based upon English history [ Paola Pugliatti however argues that the case may be somewhere between Wilson and Taylor's argument: "Shakespeare may not have been the first to bring English history before the audience of a public playhouse, but he was certainly the first to treat it in the manner of a mature historian rather than in the manner of a worshipper of historical, political and religious myth. Another issue often discussed amongst critics is the quality of the play. Along with 3 Henry VI , 1 Henry VI has traditionally been seen as one of Shakespeare's weakest works, with critics often citing the amount of violence as indicative of Shakespeare's artistic immaturity and inability to handle his chronicle sources, especially when compared to the more nuanced and far less violent second historical tetralogy Richard II , 1 Henry IV , 2 Henry IV and Henry V.

For example, critics such as E. Tillyard, [24] Irving Ribner [25] and A. Rossiter [26] have all claimed that the play violates neoclassical precepts of drama , which dictate that violence and battle should never be shown mimetically on stage, but should always be reported diegetically in dialogue. This view was based on traditional notions of the distinction between high and low art, a distinction based partly upon Philip Sidney 's An Apology for Poetry Based on the work of Horace , Sidney criticised Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville 's Gorboduc for showing too many battles and being too violent when it would have been more artistic to verbally represent such scenes.

The belief was that any play that showed violence was crude, appealing only to the ignorant masses, and was therefore low art. On the other hand, any play that elevated itself above such direct representation of violence and instead relied on the writer's ability to verbalise and his skill for diegesis, was considered artistically superior and, therefore, high art. Writing in , Ben Jonson commented in The Masque of Blackness that showing battles on stage was only "for the vulgar, who are better delighted with that which pleaseth the eye, than contenteth the ear. On the other hand, however, writers like Thomas Heywood and Thomas Nashe praised battle scenes in general as often being intrinsic to the play and not simply vulgar distractions for the illiterate.

In Piers Penniless , Nashe praised the didactic element of drama that depicted battle and martial action, arguing that such plays were a good way of teaching both history and military tactics to the masses; in such plays "our forefather's valiant acts that have lain long buried in rusty brass and worm-eaten books are revived. Questions of originality and quality, however, are not the only critical disagreement 1 Henry VI has provoked. Numerous other issues divide critics, not the least of which concerns the authorship of the play.

A number of Shakespeare's early plays have been examined for signs of co-authorship The Taming of the Shrew , The Contention [i. The belief that Shakespeare may have written very little of 1 Henry VI first came from Edmond Malone in his edition of Shakespeare's plays, which included A Dissertation on the Three Parts of King Henry VI , in which he argued that the large number of classical allusions in the play was more characteristic of Nashe, Peele, or Greene than of early Shakespeare.

Malone also argued that the language itself indicated someone other than Shakespeare. This view was dominant until , when Peter Alexander challenged it. In , E. Tillyard argued that Shakespeare most likely wrote the entire play; in , John Dover Wilson claimed Shakespeare wrote little of it. In perhaps the most exhaustive analysis of the debate, the article, "Shakespeare and Others: The Authorship of Henry the Sixth, Part One ", Gary Taylor suggests that approximately Taylor argues that Nashe almost certainly wrote all of Act 1, but he attributes to Shakespeare 2.

Taylor also suggests that the Temple Garden scene 2. Scenes 4. Roger Warren, for instance, argues that these scenes are written in a language "so banal they must be non-Shakespearean. Other than Taylor, however, several other critics also disagree with Warren's assessment of the quality of the language, arguing that the passages are more complex and accomplished than has hitherto been allowed for.

Michael Taylor, for example, argues that "the rhyming dialogue between the Talbots — often stichomythic — shapes a kind of noble flyting match, a competition as to who can out- oblige the other. In this sense, his failure to use couplets elsewhere in a tragic passage [36] can thus be attributed to an aesthetic choice on his part, rather than offered as evidence of co-authorship. Other scenes in the play have also been identified as offering possible evidence of co-authorship.

For example, the opening lines of Act 1, Scene 2 have been argued to show clear evidence of Nashe's hand. Some critics believe that this statement is paraphrased in Nashe's later pamphlet Have with You to Saffron-Walden , which contains the line, "You are as ignorant as the astronomers are in the true movings of Mars, which to this day, they never could attain to. Shakespeare and Marlowe, for example, often paraphrased each another's plays. The word 'Golias', Sheehan argues, is unusual insofar as all bibles in Shakespeare's day spelt the name 'Goliath'; it was only in much older editions of the Bible that it was spelt 'Golias'.

Sheehan concludes that the use of the arcane spelling is more indicative of Nashe, who was prone to using older spellings of certain words, than Shakespeare, who was less likely to do so. However, evidence of Shakespeare's authorship has also been found within the play. A similar point is made by Lawrence V. Ryan, who suggests that the play fits so well into Shakespeare's overall style, with an intricate integration of form and content, that it was most likely written by him alone. Another aspect of the debate is the actual likelihood of Shakespeare collaborating at all. Some critics, such as Hattaway and Cairncross, argue that it is unlikely that a young, up-and-coming dramatist trying to make a name for himself would have collaborated with other authors so early in his career.

On the other hand, Michael Taylor suggests "it is not difficult to construct an imaginary scenario that has a harassed author calling on friends and colleagues to help him construct an unexpectedly commissioned piece in a hurry. Another argument that challenges the co-authorship idea is that the basic theory of co-authorship was originally hypothesised in the 18th and 19th centuries due to a distaste for the treatment of Joan.

Critics were uncomfortable attributing such a harsh depiction to Shakespeare, so they embraced the co-authorship theory to 'clear his name', suggesting that he could not have been responsible for the merciless characterization. As with the question of the order in which the trilogy was written, twentieth century editors and scholars remain staunchly divided on the question of authorship. Edward Burns, for example, in his edition of the play for the Arden Shakespeare 3rd series, suggests that it is highly unlikely that Shakespeare wrote alone, and, throughout his introduction and commentary, he refers to the writer not as Shakespeare but as 'the dramatists'.

He also suggests that the play should be more properly called Harry VI, by Shakespeare, Nashe and others. Cairncross, editor of the play for the Arden Shakespeare 2nd series in , ascribes the entire play to Shakespeare, as does Lawrence V. In his edition of the play, Dover Wilson, on the other hand, argued that the play was almost entirely written by others, and that Shakespeare actually had little to do with its composition.

Speaking during a radio presentation of The Contention and True Tragedy, which he produced, Dover Wilson argued that he had not included 1 Henry VI because it is a "patchwork in which Shakespeare collaborated with inferior dramatists. On the other hand, Michael Taylor believes that Shakespeare almost certainly wrote the entire play, as does J. Tobin, who, in his essay in Henry VI: Critical Essays , argues the similarities to Nashe do not reveal the hand of Nashe at work in the composition of the play, but instead reveal Shakespeare imitating Nashe.

Vincent has re-examined the question in light of recent research into the Elizabethan theatre, concluding that 1 Henry VI is Shakespeare's partial revision of a play by Nashe Act 1 and an unknown playwright Acts 2—5 and that it was the original, non-Shakespearean, play that was first performed on 3 March Shakespeare's work in the play, which was most likely composed in , can be found in Act 2 scene 4 and Act 4 scenes 2—5 and the first 32 lines of scene 7. The very functioning of language itself is literally a theme in the play, with particular emphasis placed on its ability to represent by means of signs semiosis , the power of language to sway, the aggressive potential of language, the failure of language to adequately describe reality and the manipulation of language so as to hide the truth.

Like Charles, Auvergne has been astonished with the 'high terms' bestowed on Talbot, and now she wishes to see if the report and the reality conflate. Later, she uses language to persuade Burgundy to join with the Dauphin against the English. Here, language is shown to be so powerful as to act on Burgundy the same way Nature itself would act, to the point where he is unsure if he has been persuaded by a natural occurrence or by Joan's words. Language is thus presented as capable of transforming ideology. As Joan finishes her speech, Burgundy again attests to the power of her language, "I am vanquish'd. Later, something similar happens with Henry, who agrees to marry Margaret merely because of Suffolk's description of her.

Here, again, the power of language is shown to be so strong as to be confused with a natural phenomenon. Language can also be employed aggressively. For example, after the death of Salisbury, when Talbot first hears about Joan, he contemptuously refers to her and Charles as "Puzel or pussel, dolphin or dogfish " 1. In French, 'puzel' means slut , and 'pussel' is a variation of 'pucelle' meaning virgin , but with an added negative connotation. These two words, 'puzel' and 'pussel', are both puns on Joan's name Pucelle , thus showing Talbot's utter contempt for her.

Here words specifically Talbot's name literally become weapons, and are used directly to strike fear into the enemy. However although words are occasionally shown to be powerful and deeply persuasive, they also often fail in their signifying role, exposed as incapable of adequately representing reality. This idea is introduced by Gloucester at Henry V's funeral, where he laments that words cannot encompass the life of such a great king: "What should I say?

His deeds exceed all speech" 1. Later, when Gloucester and Winchester confront one another outside the Tower of London, Gloucester champions the power of real action over the power of threatening words: "I will not answer thee with words but blows" 1. Similarly, after the French capture Rouen and refuse to meet the English army in the battlefield, Bedford asserts, "O let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason " 3. Another example of the failure of language is found when Suffolk finds himself lost for words whilst attempting to woo Margaret: "Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak.

Later, Joan's words, so successful during the play in convincing others to support her, explicitly fail to save her life, as she is told by Warwick, "Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee. Language as a system is also shown to be open to manipulation. Words can be employed for deceptive purposes, as the representative function of language gives way to deceit.

Another example occurs when Henry forces Winchester and Gloucester to put aside their animosity and shake hands. Their public words here stand in diametric opposition to their private intentions;. So help me God as I dissemble not. Act 2, Scene 4 is perhaps the most important scene in the play in terms of language, as it is in this scene where Richard introduces the notion of what he calls "dumb significants," something that carries resonance throughout the trilogy. As such, the roses essentially function as symbols , replacing the very need for language.

Once all the lords select their roses, these symbolize the houses they represent. Henry chooses a red rose—totally unaware of the implications of his actions, as he does not understand the power the "dumb significants" have. He places his trust in a more literal type of language, and thus selects a rose in what he thinks is a meaningless gesture—but that does in fact have profound implications.

Henry's mistake results directly from his failure to grasp the importance of silent actions and symbolic decisions; "a gesture—especially such an ill-considered one—is worth and makes worthless, a thousand pretty words. A fundamental theme in the play is the death of chivalry , "the decline of England's empire over France and the accompanying decay of the ideas of feudalism that had sustained the order of the realm. As such, Michael Taylor refers to him as "the representative of a chivalry that was fast decaying," [54] whilst Michael Hattaway sees him as "a figure for the nostalgia that suffuses the play, a dream of simple chivalric virtus like that enacted every year at Elizabeth 's Accession Day tilts , a dream of true empire.

He is designed to appeal to a popular audience, and his death scene where he calls for troops who do not appear is yet another demonstration of the destructiveness of aristocratic factionalism. One of the clearest examples of Talbot's adherence to the codes of chivalry is seen in his response to Fastolf's desertion from the battlefield. As far as Talbot is concerned, Fastolf's actions reveal him as a dishonourable coward who places self-preservation above self-sacrifice, and thus he represents everything wrong with the modern knight. This is in direct contrast to the chivalry that Talbot represents, a chivalry he remembers fondly from days gone by:.

This dastard, at the Battle of Patay , When but in all I was six thousand strong, And that the French were almost ten to one, Before we met, or that a stroke was given, Like to a trusty squire did run away; In which assault we lost twelve hundred men. Myself and divers gentlemen beside Were there surprised and taken prisoners. Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss, Or whether that such cowards ought to wear This ornament of knighthood: yea or no? TALBOT When first this order was ordained, my lords, Knights of the garter were of noble birth, Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage, Such as were grown to credit by the wars; Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress, But always resolute in most extremes.

He then that is not furnished in this sort Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight, Profaning this most honourable order, And should — if I were worthy to be judge — Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain That doth presume to boast of gentle blood. Talbot's description of Fastolf's actions stands in direct contrast to the image of an ideal knight, and as such, the ideal and the reality serve to highlight one another, and thus reveal the discrepancy between them. Similarly, just as Talbot uses knights to represent an ideal past, by remembering how they used to be chivalric, so too does Gloucester in relation to Henry V, who he also sees as representing a glorious and honourable past:. England ne're had a king until his time.

Virtue he had, deserving to command; His brandished sword did bind men with his beams, His arms spread wider than a dragon 's wings, His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire, More dazzled and drove back his enemies Than midday sun fierce bent against their faces. Henry V has this function throughout much of the play; "he is presented not as a man but as a rhetorical construct fashioned out of hyperbole , as a heroic image or heraldic icon. The play, however, does not simply depict the fall of one order; it also depicts the rise of another; "How the nation might have remained true to itself is signified by the words and deeds of Talbot.

What she is in danger of becoming is signified by the shortcomings of the French, failings that crop up increasingly amongst Englishman [ This is seen most clearly when she sneaks into Rouen and subsequently refuses to face Talbot in a battle. Talbot finds this kind of behaviour incomprehensible and utterly dishonourable. As such, he finds himself fighting an enemy who uses tactics he is incapable of understanding; with the French using what he sees as unconventional methods, he proves unable to adapt.

This represents one of the ironies in the play's depiction of chivalry; it is the very resoluteness of Talbot's honour and integrity, his insistence in preserving an old code abandoned by all others, which ultimately defeats him; his inability to adjust means he becomes unable to function in the newly established 'dishonourable' context. As such, the play is not entirely nostalgic about chivalry; "so often the tenets of chivalry are mocked by word and action. The play is full of moments of punctured aristocratic hauteur. Talbot's mode of chivalry is replaced by politicians concerned only with themselves and their own advancement: Winchester, Somerset, Suffolk, even Richard. But with the death of Talbot, one starts to see a demise of chivalry. As such, by the end of the play, both Talbot and his son lay dead, as does the notion of English chivalry.

Hand-in-hand with the examination of chivalry with which the play engages is an examination of patriotism. Indeed, some critics argue that patriotism provided the impetus for the play in the first place. England defeated the Spanish Armada in , leading to a short-lived period of international confidence and patriotic pride—but by , the national mood was one of despondency, and as such, 1 Henry VI may have been commissioned to help dispel this mood: "The patriotic emotions to which this play shamelessly appeals resonate at an especially fragile time politically speaking. Frightening memories of the Spanish Armada, or of the Babington Plot of , which led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots ; concerns over a noticeably declining and still unmarried Queen Elizabeth; worries over Catholic recusancy ; fear of military involvement in Europe, and, just as disquietingly, in Ireland, combine to make a patriotic response a matter of some urgency.

Evidence of this is seen throughout. For example, the English seem vastly outnumbered in every battle, yet they never give up, and often they prove victorious. Indeed, even when they do lose, the suggestion is often made that it was because of treachery, as only by duplicitous means could their hardiness be overcome. For example, during the Battle of Patay where Talbot is captured , the messenger reports,. The tenth of August last, this dreadful lord [i. He wanted pikes to set before his archers ; Instead whereof sharp stakes plucked out of hedges They pitch'd in the ground confusedly To keep the horsemen off from breaking in. More than three hours the fight continu'd, Where valiant Talbot, above human thought, Enacted wonders with his sword and lance.

Hundreds he sent to hell , and none durst stand him; Here, there, and everywhere, enraged he slew. The French exclaimed the devil was in arms: All the whole army stood agazed on him. Here had the conquest fully been sealed up If Sir John Fastolf had not played the coward. He, being in the vanguard placed behind, With purpose to relieve and follow them, Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.

Hence flew the general wrack and massacre; Enclos'd were they with their enemies. A base Walloon , to win the Dauphin's grace, Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back — Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength, Durst not presume to look once in the face. Here Fastolf's betrayal is the direct cause of the English defeat, not the fact that they were outnumbered ten-to-one, that they were hit by a surprise attack or that they were surrounded. This notion is returned to several times, with the implication each time that only treachery can account for an English defeat.

For example, upon hearing of the first loss of towns in France, Exeter immediately asks, "How were they lost? What treachery was used? However, if the English are of the mind that they can only be defeated by treachery and betrayal, the play also presents the French as somewhat in awe of them, bearing a begrudging respect for them, and fearing their strength in battle.

As such, whilst the English attribute every defeat to treachery, the French opinion of the English seems to imply that perhaps this is indeed the only way to beat them. More truly now may this be verified, For none but Samsons and Goliases It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten? The main series consists of two story arcs , each five novels in length. Additionally, there are a number of Amber short stories and other works. Four additional prequel books, authorized by the Zelazny estate following his death, were authored by John Gregory Betancourt. The Amber stories take place in two contrasting "true" worlds, Amber and Chaos, and in shadow worlds Shadows that lie between the two.

These shadows, including our Earth, are parallel worlds that exist in, and were created from, the tension between opposing magical forces of Amber and Chaos. The Courts of Chaos are situated at the very edge of an Abyss. Members of the royal family of Amber, after walking a Pattern that is central to Amber, can travel freely through the Shadows. While traveling shifting between Shadows, one can alter reality or create a new reality by choosing which elements of which Shadows to keep or add, and which to subtract.

Nobles of the Courts of Chaos who have traversed the Logrus are similarly able to travel through Shadow. Ten Amber novels were written by Roger Zelazny. The series of books was published over the years from to Portions of the first novel, Nine Princes in Amber , had previously been published in Kallikanzaros No. Several Chronicles of Amber omnibus volumes have also been published, collecting the five novels of the original "Corwin Cycle" in one volume, the five novels of the "Merlin Cycle" in another volume, and later in The Great Book of Amber all ten novels in a single volume. The first five novels are narrated in the first person by Corwin , a prince of Amber, as he describes his adventures and life upon re-encountering his family after a loss of memory and an absence of centuries.

Corwin wakes up from a coma in a hospital in New York with amnesia. He soon discovers that he's part of a superhuman royal family that can wander among infinite parallel worlds called "shadows" , and who rule over the one true world, Amber. He meets members of this newly rediscovered family, and then later is shown and walks the Pattern , a labyrinth inscribed in the dungeons of Castle Amber which gives the multiverse its order. Walking the Pattern of Rebma a city in Shadow that mirrors the true city of Amber, down to the smallest detail, including the Pattern restores Corwin's memory and his abilities to travel through shadow. In alliance with his brother Bleys , he attempts to conquer Amber, which is ruled by his elder brother Eric , who took power after the disappearance of their father, Oberon.

Their attempt fails. Bleys falls from the side of the Kolvir mountain and Corwin is captured, blinded and imprisoned. Thanks to his genetic regenerative ability, his eyes regrow and he regains his vision. Dworkin Barimen , the mad sorcerer who created the Pattern, enters Corwin's prison through the walls of Corwin's prison cell, and eventually draws on the wall the door through which Corwin escapes. Corwin has escaped the dungeons of Amber, where he was imprisoned by his hated brother Eric, who had seized the throne of Amber.

All of Corwin's siblings believe that guns cannot function in Amber, as gunpowder is inert there. But Corwin has secret knowledge: in the shadow world of Avalon, where he once ruled, there exists a jeweler's rouge that will function in Amber as gunpowder should. Corwin plans to raise a legion of shadow soldiers, and arm them with automatic rifles from the shadow world Earth. While gathering these forces Corwin discovers a more sinister problem growing among the shadows. He meets Dara, a woman claiming to be his great-grandniece, and later discovers a threat to Amber: a black road which runs across universes from the Courts of Chaos to Amber. With his newly trained army, Corwin marches on Castle Amber only to find it already under siege. The immediate danger passes, but Dara threatens greater peril after walking the Pattern and revealing herself to be a creature of the Courts of Chaos, intent on destroying both Amber and the Shadows.

Eric is dead, and Corwin now rules Amber as Regent. But someone has murdered their brother Caine and framed Corwin. This leads to questions about other missing members of the royal family. Corwin's brother, Random, tells of his attempts to rescue their brother, Brand, and Corwin decides to find out what happened to the latter. After many intrafamily exchanges, Brand is rescued but is stabbed by one of the family in the attempt. In the midst of the ensuing intrigue, an assassination attempt is made on Corwin and he finds himself incapacitated on Earth. Before returning to Amber he hides the Jewel of Judgment on Earth. After Brand recovers, he tells Corwin of several incidents leading up to his capture.

Corwin finds the Primal Pattern damaged, with a dark stain obscuring parts of it. On further investigation it is found that the blood of one of the members of his family has created the stain. Corwin descends back to the dungeons and meets with Dworkin, who explains how the Pattern might be repaired. After being chased from the Pattern, Corwin eventually discovers that Brand is responsible for the damage and that he now has the Jewel of Judgment. Corwin must now prevent Brand from attuning himself to the jewel, or Brand's plot to destroy the Pattern will succeed. Corwin and his family band together to prevent this, eventually recover the jewel, and discover that their father Oberon, the true King of Amber, still lives.

Roger Zelazny makes a brief cameo appearance in the book as a guard in a dungeon, smoking a pipe and working on a novel which may or may not be The Chronicles of Amber itself. Oberon, having resumed the throne, organizes an assault on the Courts of Chaos. Oberon plans to repair the Primal Pattern at the cost of his life, and offers the throne to Corwin with Dara as his Queen. Corwin refuses and is tasked to bring the Jewel of Judgment across the shadows to the battle that will ensue after the Pattern is redrawn. He sets off along the black road and is soon pursued by Brand and a great storm. Through the storm and across the multiverse he comes to doubt his father's success. As he approaches the Courts of Chaos he is assailed by fantastic beings who try to dissuade him, and he finally decides that his father must have failed.

Corwin then creates a new Pattern and uses it to get to the Courts, but has not the strength to prevent Brand stealing the Jewel from him in the process. In a final confrontation with Brand, the Jewel of Judgment is stolen and lost. Brand is killed - by Caine, revealed to have faked his own death earlier by murdering a "shadow" version of himself and leaving the body to be found: shot through heart and throat, Brand falls off a precipice into the Abyss, taking Deirdre with him in the process. The Jewel is recovered by the unicorn who bestows it on Random, who is then accepted as the new King. The Trumps and multiverse are restored and Corwin relates the story of the first five novels to his son Merlin.

The next five novels focus on Merlin , Corwin's son. These stories are held by some fans to be less of a fantasy classic than the first five due to the difference in writing style, direction and setting. The series is a coming of age for Merlin with his heritage as a Prince of Chaos and Amber. Merlin has been studying computer science on Earth while constructing a secret project called Ghostwheel, a sentient computer based on the Trumps, which Merlin hopes will be able to locate Corwin, who vanished after visiting the Courts of Chaos in the previous novel.

Merlin discovers the body of his ex-girlfriend Julia, apparently killed by beasts from another shadow, and subsequently finds himself in sorcerous combat with a lady named Jasra, who has a poisonous sting in her bite. More unnerving is that his best friend Luke apparently knows about both Ghostwheel and Merlin's connection to Amber. He eventually returns to Amber, which is in mourning: the news has just come that Caine has been murdered, and Bleys injured, by a mystery assassin with a rifle — an assassin who demonstrates with a thrown bomb at Caine's funeral, which misses any other family members that he has access to something with explosive properties in Amber which had previously been thought impossible.

After the funeral, King Random orders Merlin to shut down Ghostwheel, but the artifact shows it is capable of self-defense, even against its creator, who is saved by the unexpected appearance of Luke — who thus proves, with the ability to traverse Shadow, that he too is no ordinary human. He soon finds that Luke is in fact Rinaldo, son of Brand of Amber, and has been responsible for yearly attempts on his life, on the anniversary of Luke's discovery of Brand's death.

Luke imprisons Merlin in a cave of blue crystal which negates his magic abilities and from which he cannot escape. Merlin escapes from the blue crystal cave, meets and confronts Jasra, nearly taking her prisoner, but is forced to retreat when she calls in reinforcements using the Trumps. Further mystery ensues back on Earth when several people who apparently knew a lot more about Merlin than they should, turn out to have no memory of previous meetings.

Merlin traces his way back to his first confrontation with Jasra, where he finds himself at a magical fort, the Keep of the Four Worlds, a nexus of magical energies which has recently fallen under the control of a mysterious blue-masked sorcerer calling himself "Mask", who seems to have a vendetta against Merlin. Merlin returns to Amber, ventures out into Amber City, escapes an assassination attempt, and is saved by Caine's mistress, Vinta Bayle — who, also, appears to know more than she ought about him. Merlin then finds himself having to rescue Luke from Dalt, the two having apparently come to blows. Luke reveals that Jasra has indeed lost power and is now a prisoner — and has the cheek to ask for Merlin's help.

Luke ends up in the crystal cave himself — and Merlin, after yet another uncanny encounter with a shape-shifting werewolf which escapes, minus an ear and with severe burns and that appears to be backed by Mask. Merlin decides to gain leverage over Luke by "rescuing" Jasra without Luke's help, and then taking Jasra as a prisoner in Amber. He confronts Mask, escapes with the now-petrified Jasra, and returns to Amber, where an unusual Trump summoning imprisons him in the Mad Hatter's tea party from Wonderland. Merlin realises that Wonderland, where he and Luke are trapped, is an LSD -induced hallucination made real by Luke's powers over shadow.

It is Luke who has dropped the acid — he, too, having been taken prisoner in an independent attempt to rescue Jasra, and having apparently been given it as an experiment. He is ambushed by a creature from Chaos, a Fire Angel, but defeats it with the help of a Jabberwock and a vorpal sword. He leaves Luke to sober up and seeks his stepbrother Mandor, who thinks that their half-brother Jurt may be at least one of the assassins trying to kill Merlin — right now, most likely, for headship of the House of Sawall once its current lord dies, since Mandor the eldest son has stepped aside, leaving that office to be disputed between Merlin and Jurt who was indeed the werewolf from earlier.

They meet up with Fiona and discover that the Logrus is making an attempt to damage Corwin's Pattern. But Merlin refuses to help Mandor and Fiona learn more, and returns to Amber, only to be embroiled in diplomatic controversy: in order to avoid Luke's possible accession to the throne of the Shadow kingdom Kashfa, Random is playing politics to put his own candidate on the throne, and the neighbouring kingdom of Begma objects to that particular candidate's territorial ambitions. The Begman duke's elder daughter Coral and Luke's old friend Dalt the Mercenary are both revealed to be bastard Amberites, sired by Oberon out of wedlock: Coral walks the Pattern and disappears completely, apparently held prisoner by it. Dalt challenges Amber with an armed force, demanding Luke be surrendered to him as prisoner, but Luke has sworn off his vendetta and is under Queen Vialle's protection.

Negotiations result in an arranged fistfight between Dalt and Luke, which Dalt wins and captures Luke. Coral's younger sister Nayda is revealed to be possessed by the mysterious body-possessing "t'yiga" demon which had previously been Vinta Bayle and, for a short while, several other people on Earth, in "Trumps of Doom" : but since the real Nayda actually died of a long-standing heart condition just as the t'yiga possessed her possession is normally harmless , it is now trapped in her form permanently.

Merlin calls in Mandor to imprison the t'yiga, which turns out a to have been sent with orders to act as a bodyguard to Merlin, by an unknown sponsor, and b reveals that Jurt is in league with Mask, and is trying to gain power from the Keep of the Four Worlds in the same way that Brand did, and become a Living Trump. Mask is wounded by Merlin, but then it is revealed that "he" is in fact Merlin's ex-girlfriend Julia, whom he had thought dead. Jasra is left in charge of the Keep of the Four Worlds, where she had ruled before — as Julia's teacher, before Julia decided to outwit her and take over.

She turns out to be exactly the right person to leave in charge there, as she does not wish for the power of the Fount of the Four Worlds herself, but is quite happy to prevent others using it, since gaining its power destroyed the last of Brand's humanity, and she appears to have genuinely loved him, and lost him to his power-lust. Merlin tries to use Trump magic to locate Coral — with the help of Mandor, Jasra and even his own creation Ghostwheel, with whom he is back on good terms — but is ambushed by various ghostly constructs of people that have walked the Pattern and Logrus, and even by Corwin's most recent Pattern-ghost from his own Pattern, not the Pattern of Amber , and finds himself drawn into a struggle between the Logrus , the fundamental power of chaos, and the Pattern, the fundamental power of order.

It is revealed that the Pattern, and its chaotic counterpart the Logrus, are sentient, and wish Merlin to choose a side to tip the balance of the multiverse towards one or the other — with other Pattern- and Logrus-ghosts also taking part in the "trial" to influence him one way or the other. They try to make him choose between them using ghosts of family members who have traversed their two paths. He attempts to walk the route of neutrality to avoid choosing sides, but ends up being tricked into taking sides twice — firstly by having a Chaos dagger planted on him as he sleeps before attempting to take the middle path in a three-way choice between the extremes of Order and Chaos this is rather appropriate: he would rather aid neither side, but his chosen method is usually the magic of Chaos , and secondly he is coerced into aiding the Pattern to strengthen its position in Shadows, while rescuing Coral from her imprisonment.

During the trial he somehow obtains possession of the Jewel of Judgement: the attempt to return it to Castle Amber provokes a confrontation between the Pattern and Logrus themselves, causing a mighty explosion in which Mandor suffers a broken arm and Coral loses an eye. The ty'iga demon in Nayda's body escapes and tries to return the Jewel to the Logrus, but is captured by Ghostwheel — which, after removing both Nayda and the Jewel, passes its own synthetic "consciousness" through the Jewel, thus traversing the Pattern.

Coral's damaged eye is operated on by Dworkin, who replaces it with the Jewel of Judgement. Merlin investigates Brand's old quarters, and finds his old sword Werewindle, and a mysterious and powerful "spikard" ring, which he keeps. Random sends him to the kingdom of Kashfa as the Amberite representative at a coronation Since he has a fairly legitimate claim on the throne himself, is on better terms with his neighbours Begma, who objected to Duke Arkans , and has given up his vendetta on Amber, Random is letting things stand.

Further complications ensue when it turns out that Coral — now Merlin's lover — is actually Luke's long-forgotten wife following a diplomatic arranged marriage in childhood although Luke seems willing enough to have it annulled in the future. Merlin goes to present Luke with Werewindle as a memento of his father, but they are ambushed by Jurt again. Jurt is defeated but steals Werewindle as he flees. Merlin returns to his birthplace in the Courts of Chaos in order to solve the existential riddle in which he is involved — to find that he is suddenly a lot closer to the throne of Chaos itself than he thought, King Swayvill having finally died of a long-standing illness aggravated, it is said, by the death curse of Eric of Amber , and many other candidates having either been assassinated or dropped out, which pushes his own house of Sawall unexpectedly to the forefront.

Of course, besides there being two other candidates from rival houses, this pushes Jurt very close to the succession too. In a conversation with his mother Dara — mistress of Corwin once, and a descendant of Benedict, also from the royal house of Chaos — he finds that she was the one who sent the ty'iga demon which is now Coral's sister Nayda and appears to be developing something of an affection for Luke. Merlin realizes he is but a pawn in the hands of the powerful and cynical superpowers that rule the universe, that neither the Pattern nor the Logrus or their manifestations as Unicorn and Serpent care much about their "minions", and that someone or something wants him to rule Chaos — and that others will try to manipulate him when he is.

Merlin — and a Pattern-ghost of Luke — are both adopted by Corwin's Pattern which has previously rejected Fiona , at the instance of a Pattern-ghost of Corwin himself, as it appears that his own Pattern is also sentient and resisting incursions from both the Logrus and Amber's Pattern — and taking a hand in the conflict between the two. It becomes apparent that the real Corwin is held prisoner by Dara herself — ironically, in a chapel devoted to Corwin chapels devoted to Amberites having apparently become a popular cult in Chaos after the Patternfall War: Jurt worshipped Brand, House Hendrake idolised Benedict, and Mandor's patron was Fiona.

Jurt, frightened by the power politics, declares truce on Merlin, and calls off his own vendetta — suggesting that Dara and Mandor intend, themselves, to manipulate Merlin when becomes King, after first putting him on the throne. The assassination of the two remaining candidates throws things into confusion: Coral is kidnapped by agents of Chaos who want her because the Jewel of Judgement is her eye , and pursued by Merlin and Jurt, who call on the assistance of Luke, Dalt and Nayda: they find themselves having to fight agents of the Pattern as well as the Logrus to rescue her, and finally confront the Pattern itself and threaten to damage it by spilling their Amberite blood on it, if it does not back off from their conflict the four others are sent safely away while Luke remains: contact is lost just after he says "Shit, I spilled it!

Merlin rescues his father, Corwin, and hides him in Jurt's quarters, and also discovers that the Spikard Ring he found in Brand's quarters was a trap, meant to bring him under Mandor and Dara's influence — except the plan was anticipated by Bleys who was thought to be in hiding, recovering from his injury four books ago , who replaced it with another identical spikard which Dara and Mandor did not control previously held by an estranged Amberite, a son of Oberon called Delwin.

In the Courts of Chaos, Merlin uses Ghostwheel which has by now traversed the Logrus as well as the Pattern , his own Spikard, and all his magical powers in the final fight for survival: finally declaring — and forcing Dara and Mandor to accept — that although he did not want to rule, if forced to do so, it will not be as anyone's puppet. Thus both the Pattern and Logrus are forestalled for a time, in their attempts to escalate their conflict: while Corwin begins the journey back to Amber, Merlin — who wants peace with Amber — returns to Chaos to await his coronation.

For the limited edition of Trumps of Doom , Zelazny wrote a prologue that details Merlin's passage through the Logrus. After completing the Merlin Cycle, Zelazny wrote five Amber short stories, in which he began to tease the threads of the story into a new configuration. September 23, Juilliard School. September Archived from the original on November 11, The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved April 2, August 6, March 29, Retrieved February 14, Retrieved September 3, August 31, Retrieved January 25, Retrieved December 13, Retrieved August 1, East Valley Tribune. Retrieved March 4, January 8, Retrieved June 3, Los Angeles Times.

Retrieved March 6, Retrieved March 22, Retrieved December 11, Archived from the original on June 21, Retrieved June 5, However, my 3 all time favs are Dr. Facilier, Spawn and Goliath. Three of my ab…" Tweet — via Twitter. Behind The Voice Actors. Awards for Keith David. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator. Brown Authority control. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. David in Juilliard School BFA. Actor producer. Stars and Bars. The Puppet Masters. The Quick and the Dead. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Eye for an Eye. Larger than Life. There's Something About Mary. English dub [25].

Where the Heart Is. The Replacements. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Head of State. Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. The Chronicles of Riddick. The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. Direct-to-video [25]. Justice League: The New Frontier. The Centre voice. My Mom's New Boyfriend. The Fifth Commandment. Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia. The Princess and the Frog.

All About Steve. Death at a Funeral. Lottery Ticket.

Dworkin finally reveals that the Jewel contains within it the erik ravelo the untouchables Pattern from which he created Amber. Like Hermia, Helena Hijab In America aware of Hijab In America rules Hijab In America willing to break them in order to achieve her romantic goals. The Daily Telegraph. Disadvantages of hard engineering can safely be skipped.