Merlin and King Arthur short play (5 characters)

This 5-act short play is a dramatic adaptation of the stories of King Arthur and Merlin the Magician. It is a fantastic play to be performed by 5 characters.

Title of the play: “The Legend of Merlin the Magician”.

Author: Draziel Roen

5 Characters:

  • Merlin: Magician, adviser of the legendary King Arthur, dressed in black tunic and pointed hat, always accompanied by his cane and with a snow-white beard. Lover of Viviana the Lady of the Lake. Black-eyed and strong-voiced, a wise, generous and stoic man.
  • Viviane/Lady of the Lake: Female gender entity who appreciates King Arthur, lover of the powerful magician Merlin. Protector of extraordinary objects, dresses in a white dress and tiara of the same color, green-eyed and black-haired. Grudging, affectionate and lonely.
  • Nimue: Part of the Lady of the Lake, she is one of its personalities. Close friend of King Arthur and Merlin, although the latter does not know that Nimue is his beloved Viviana, trained as a soldier by Arthur himself. With green eyes and brown hair. Cheerful, alert and always happy, loyal and strong.
  • Sir Marcus: Ex-member of the round table, who, full of greed, tries to usurp the throne and claim it as his own during King Arthur’s illness. He owns several lands throughout the kingdom. Long black hair, brown eyes, arrogant and proud.
  • King Arthur: King of Camelot, bearer of the Excalibur, founder of the round table and friend of the powerful Merlin. Sick and weakened because of so many battles for the sake of his kingdom. Long blond hair and light brown eyes, white skin and strong body. Powerful, brave, wise, patient, kind and understanding.

Act I

The lake of the Lady of the Lake. A lake that no one usually visits, with a redundant name, surrounded by trees so large that their leaves formed a roof over it. A vast lake, feared and inhabited by the entity for which it is named: the Lady of the Lake.

Scene I

It is dusk, the animals begin to seek shelter and the villagers finish their work and enter their homes. The figure of a man with a cane and hat enters the forest. Merlin the magician was on his way to meet the Lady of the Lake.

Merlin: Viviane, heed my call (raising his cane)!

Lady of the Lake: I told you, Merlin, not to call me that way.

The Lady of the Lake emerges from the water with an annoyed expression.

Merlin: I don’t have time for meaningless discussions, in 10 days when the Sun goes down I will come to bring you the objects that no one must find.

Merlin was stressed because his king was ill and his concern did not let him reason (Merlin approaches the Lady of the Lake trying to take her hand, but she recoils).

Lady of the Lake: Do not command me or try to approach me! I will hide whatever you bring me, but you and I are no longer anything (angry and with sudden movements she points at the wizard).

Merlin takes his cane and proudly says.

Merlin: As you wish Lady of the Lake, however! Could you please tell me why do you hate me so much?

Hearing these words the Lady of the Lake filled with fury and turning her back to the wizard says.

Lady of the Lake: If you don’t know, you don’t deserve an answer!

Merlin with an expression of defeat leaves the place while he hears cries behind him.

Act II

King Arthur’s chambers, a room with a window overlooking the central courtyard of the castle, with leather furniture and a decoration worthy of the king’s presence, a bed surrounded with blood-red curtains and a sick king on it.

Scene I

The people close to the king were inside observing his condition when Merlin and Viviane enter, all talking in low voices so as not to disturb the tired King Arthur, who, hearing the door, demands to see his advisor.

King Arthur: (in a low voice and in a trembling tone) M-Merlin Are you there? Come closer.

Merlin: My King! (Merlin quickly approaches King Arthur, taking his hand and looking at him worriedly).

Viviane approaches Merlin, everyone looks her up and down, she was wearing a turquoise dress that highlighted her green eyes, her hair gave off a captivating scent that stunned everyone in the room.

King Arthur: Have you spoken to her (he said as he coughed)?

Merlin: Yes, my king, I have spoken to her, in 10 days everything will be ready.

King Arthur: I-I am glad (coughs) My kingdom must be safe, it deserves to be safe.

Everyone was moved, the king in such a bad state of health only thinking of his people.

Viviane: Oh my king, sorry to disturb you now, but Sir Marcus worries me.

They all look at each other’s faces, they knew what Viviane was referring to, Sir Marcus was taking advantage of the king’s illness to try to take the throne.

Merlin: Despicable! My king, let me take care of Sir Marcus myself, you have nothing to worry about (He lowers the king’s hand and waits for his answer).

King Arthur: Merlin, my counselor, my friend, my benefactor, I am glad to hear your voice and I am pleased to know that you will take care of this matter now that I am in such a deplorable state, however I must ask for forgiveness, for being (coughs) a burden to the people.

Viviane bursts into tears and approaching the king says.

Viviane: Oh my king, so kind and so ill-treated! We will make sure my king that Sir Marcus the traitor pays for dismaying your highness.


The kingdom of Camelot, a place full of life and vegetation. The Sun was hiding behind the mountains and the villagers were working with fervor, the birds singing and the sound of the rivers could be heard.

Scene I

Merlin and Viviane were together with several soldiers of the kingdom, preparing to stop Sir Marcus, the traitor. They were in a field, near the forest that leads to the Lady of the Lake. In the field there were worn straw man because, when the Lady of the Lake was still human and offered Excalibur to her king, that area was used as practice for the novice soldiers.

Merlin: (With a strong voice and raising his arms) Ready soldiers! This will be a short battle but it will determine the future of Camelot!

The soldiers shouted motivated, ready to give their lives for the kingdom, and for their king.

Viviane approaches Merlin to whisper to him.

Viviane: Don’t forget our deal, wizard.

Merlin: And you do not forget your part.

Scene II

In the distance, we see the traitor on horseback leading his troops who upon seeing Merlin quicken his pace. When he was close enough and both forces were in front of each other, he says:

Sir Marcus: So mighty King Arthur must be pretty bad off to send his useless advisor to do his job!

Merlin: (Angry and with a furious voice he shouts) Watch your words Marcus! I may be old but I still have the favor of the goddess!

The enemy soldiers retreated, for that meant that Merlin, the dreaded and powerful magician Merlin, could still use magic.

Sir Marcus: Wake up! If what he says were true, we wouldn’t be talking right now!

Merlin raises his cane and the soldiers in favor of the king begin their attack. A fierce combat between both forces takes place. Viviane just supports the soldiers with her daggers and Merlin confronts Sir Marcus, who was surprised because although Merlin was an old man, his movements were fast and his cane was hard enough to stop his sword.

Merlin: (During the fight and with accelerated breathing) Surrender Marcus, you stain your name in vain!

Sir Marcus: Oh no useless wizard! You make a vain effort, by this time your beloved king must be dead!

Merlin steps back for a moment and thinks of all those rumors that there were spies inside the castle. Terrified, he looks at Sir Marcus and leaves the battlefield.

Viviane: (After defeating an enemy, Viviane turns to see a Merlin who tries to retreat) Merlin! Where are you going?

Merlin: King Arthur is in danger, I must protect him.

Viviane nods and encourages her soldiers to fight.


The fortress of Camelot, a place impenetrable from the outside, but vulnerable from the inside. Things were in disarray and broken.

Scene I

Merlin arrives at the fortress, the guards were wounded and agonizing on the floor, the furniture and objects were broken or disordered and when approaching the king’s chambers terror invades him because the door was open.

Merlin enters the king’s room abruptly.

Merlin: My king!

Inside there were two men in guard’s clothes, one holding a dagger and the other a sword. Merlin angrily pointed at the spy holding the sword with his cane, uttered some words inaudible to them and the spy was thrown out the window.

Merlin was tired, doing magic at his age was exhausting and he ran out of strength, however he gathered enough and confronted the spy with the dagger. There were blows and shoves but the wizard managed to push away the enemy of his king who was weakened.

Merlin: They dare to attempt against the life of their own king! Damn them! Infamous!

The spy takes out of his pocket a round object and throws it at Merlin, an object that explodes when it hits the magician’s cane and a cloud of smoke fills the room. Merlin sees the intentions of his enemy who plans to stab the king, but instead pierces the skin of Merlin himself who got in the way. The king wakes up and between screams calls the name of his friend and advisor. The spy tries to flee but is stopped by some guards who were still unharmed.

A roar echoes throughout Camelot and Viviane appears in the room with the guards.

Merlin: (With a broken voice and difficulty speaking) Viviane, I thought you were with Marcus.

Nimue: (Crying but with an angry expression) I was, but I felt your pain and I knew what had happened. The goddess did me one last favor.

King Arthur: (While holding Merlin in his arms) Stop talking, Merlin! My dear Merlin, I will do my best to save you.

The magician brings his hand to his king’s shoulder and says.

Merlin: My king, my time has come, I am only an old wizard, you must protect your kingdom, you must get better and protect everything you have fought for so many decades. Take it, the essence of nature, it will cure you.

Merlin gives a flask to his king, a flask that is only filled at the moment of death and that the goddess of nature fills with life.

Viviane: (With tears and taking Merlin’s hand) It is time my dear, we must go.

Merlin: The objects will be safe my king, they will die with me and Camelot will be out of danger. Long live, long live my king, long live the king!

Merlin’s voice is heard throughout the kingdom, the villagers can’t help but repeat those words in unison.

Camelot: Long live the King! Long live the King!

The voice of the kingdom is heard in the background and King Arthur looks sadly at his friend.

King Arthur: Farewell my friend, farewell my counselor, I will see you after death to reign paradise.

Viviane and Merlin disappear in a great splendor.

Act V

The lake of the Lady of the Lake was covered with the leaves that once hid it because the trees were beginning to die.

Scene I

The figures of two people are seen from the entrance, a dying Merlin and Viviane. The Lady of the Lake breaks into tears at the sight of Merlin her beloved, wounded.

Viviane: This is where we join, and this is where we leave.

Viviane looks at the Lady of the Lake, who nods opening her arms. Viviane moves closer to her until she is absorbed.

Merlin: Do you still love me Viviana?

Lady of the Lake: Regretfully, son of the goddess.

The Lady of the Lake takes Merlin and drags him into the water. He begins to float and blood begins to stain the lake.

Merlin: I’m sorry, I’ll dirty your home.

Lady of the Lake: Our home. You have served the child well, you have served the kingdom well, it is time to rest.

The objects emerge from the lake, for they came to the death of the magician who found them.

Merlin: See you, Camelot…

Two people sink into the lake and 7 objects submerge. The girl who sees everything decides to tell what she saw, but no one believes her. And so the story of Merlin comes to an end.

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