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Literary Abuse


Sometimes, a little bit of education can be a bad thing, or so they say. There are times when I just have to agree. While flipping over a few pages in the HP Lexicon (to settle a dispute), I found this choice piece of literary criticism:

Lucius was the name of a Roman emperor who fought against King Arthur in legend. Interesting, considering that Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley are bitter enemies and have even come to blows. It is also interesting that King Arthur killed Emperor Lucius with a blow to the head with Excalibur. In the scuffle in Flourish and Blotts, Arthur knocked Lucius into a bookshelf and Lucius was hit in the head by an Encyclopedia of Toadstools (cf: OffsiteLe Morte d’Arthur V : VIII).

I am half offended on behalf of Malory, here. Perhaps, perhaps, we may give JK Rowling the benefit of the doubt as far as the names go. She did, after all, put a great deal of effort into them. But to suggest that Lucius being hit on the head with an encyclopaedia of toadstools is somehow an allusion to King Arthur defeating Rome with a legendary sword… well, that’s a step too far. Sure, if it had been ‘The Fall of Rome’ or something vaguely related that fell on his head, maybe we could talk. That it was the ‘Encyclopedia of Toadstools’ means trying to make that connection is just silly.

Luckily, my dispute about Lucius Malfoy was settled. I’d hate to have to trawl through more of this site and see what else they’ve been claiming!


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