“There is nothing special in the world. Nothing magic. Just physics.”
In A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur’s Court we see two forms of magic; the first being the illusions performed by Merlin and the second being Hank’s magic, which is, in fact, modern-day science. Aside from how you may or may not interpret the end of the novel, both forms of magic in the text are illusions based on deception. Magic, in A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur’s Court, signifies the means with which the people of the sixth century solve problems of the unknown.
Merlin’s magic is that of smoke and childish fabrications. Everything about his magic is vague and lacks any reality. At the
Although Hank fully understands the technologies that he is working with, and all that he creates, he also understands how the simple minds of the people of the sixth century work. In order to pass off any of his ideas, and have them carry any weight, he must convince everyone that what he is doing is magic. After having confided in Clarence and a handful of others, Hank has the whole country believing in his mystical wisdom that allows him to perform feats of greatness. Much like Merlin, Hank too puts on a show in order to hype up his less than extraordinary accomplishments. At the same incident at the
Although they may seem like very different characters, Hank and Merlin are essentially alike. Both men deal in deception, claiming that they can solve the worlds’ problems with magic. The only difference is their definition of magic. Merlin uses the word as a curtain for his lies and falsifications of the truth, whereas Hank uses it to hide the reality of science.