"The Fifty - First Dragon " By Heywood Broun Settings: The first setting is in a knight school where Gawaine is taught how to be a knight. It also takes place in the forest where he beheads all the dragons and is almost fooled into being eaten. Plot: This story is about a student becoming a knight with no spirit at all named Gawaine le Coeur-Hardy. He was considered the least promising of all the pupils. The headmaster of the school thought he make better of Gawaine.
He discussed about Gawaine with the Professor of Pleasaunce about how to make him more enthusiastic about training as a knight. Then they thought about training him as a dragon slayer. They knew that slaying dragons was dangerous but they knew they could find someway to trick him. The headmaster said that after Gawaine's training he would give him a magic word. He trained for a few months using papier-m^ach'e and wooden dragons using a battle-ax as a weapon. Gawaine felt that it was going to be a lot harder to behead a dragon later on.
When a dragon ate the lettuce patch, they skipped his test and gave him his diploma, his battle-ax, and his magic. The magic word was Rumplesnitz. The headmaster said that if he says this word before slaying a dragon, he would be perfectly safe. When he goes to slaughter his first dragon, the dragon rushes towards him quickly, but he has enough time to say the magic word and he beheads the dragon.
He goes out slaughtering many dragons and bringing back their ears. One day he finds an old dragon in front of him and forgets what the magic words are. He asked the dragon, and the dragon tries to trick him so he can eat him. At the last minute, he remembers the magic word, but it is too late to say the word. He swings the ax anyway and beheads the dragon.
He comes back and tells the headmaster what had just happened. The headmaster tells him that there is no such thing as a magic word and tells him that he has been doing everything all on his own. The professor says that he was able to slaughter fifty dragons in less then a year. Characters: Gawaine le Coeur-Hardy: He seems pretty cowardice from the beginning of the book and still cowardice close to the end. He had no spirit as a knight early in the book and I don't know why he even tried to become one. At the end he achieves a record of fifty dragons, but is devoured.
The only thing they could find of him were the metallic parts of his medals. They couldn't even find the ribbons. He made a record for that school that has never been equaled. The Headmaster: The only reason that Gawaine ever got that far was because of the headmaster. The headmaster gave him spirit, but after the headmaster told him the truth, I think Gawaine lost his spirit again. I think that is probably how Gawaine dies.
Conflicts: The first conflict was to get Gawaine to be more enthusiastic about being a knight. This was resolved by training Gawaine to be a dragon slayer. The second conflict was to get Gawaine to slaughter those dragons. That was resolved by training him with fake dragons and giving him the "magic word" that gave made him think he was safe while killing the dragons. The last conflict was killing the old dragon.
That was solved when it was too late for him to say the magic word and used his instincts to instantly behead the old dragon. Symbols: The specific symbol of this story is the magic word. It symbolizes that we already harness qualities beyond our thoughts. We just need help unlocking it. Universal Qualities: The universal qualities of Gawaine are that he was already a good knight. He just needed the headmaster to help him realize that.
Foreshadowing: I was able to foreshadow that he was supposed to be the greatest knight of them all. I was able to foreshadow this because of how the headmaster really wanted to help Gawaine. Passage and relevance: He took a heavy book from the shelf behind the desk and began to run through it. "Sometimes," he said, "the charm is a whole phrase or even a sentence. I might, for instance, give you 'To make the'- no, that might not do. I think a single word would be best for dragons."A short word," suggested Gawaine.
"It can't be too short or it wouldn't be potent. There isn't so much hurry as all that. Here's a splendid magic word: 'Rumplesnitz.' Do you think you can learn that?" I think this passage is relevant because it gave Gawaine enough courage to kill all those dragons.