Doctor Cornelius' Motives

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Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby -centaur- » Oct 10, 2012 11:47 am

An interesting thought came to mind the other day.
When Caspian needed a tutor, did Doctor Cornelius
a) Apply for the job because he needed work and later realized that Caspian could save Narnia
or b) Apply for the job because he already realized Caspian could save Narnia?

Aslan could quite easily have set it up so that Caspian's nurse was sent away and Cornelius came and unexpectedly found narnia's saviour (All things work together for good?) Or did Cornelius have his eye on some way to get into the castle and reach Caspian for a long time and seized the opportunity when it came?

As far as I can think of, Lewis does not address the question, which leaves it open for speculation.
Thoughts?
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Louloudi the Centaur » Oct 10, 2012 5:16 pm

It's been awhile since I've read Prince Caspian, but I do believe that telling a young boy that the thought to be extinct Narnians are indeed still alive would be of great help in the process of saving Narnia.

When Caspian's nurse would tell him the stories, he was in such awe that he fully believed that there were Narnians at one point, much to Miraz's upset. He would have given anything to be with the Old Narnians, and would likely willingly fight to give them their homeland back.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Hermitess of Narnia » Oct 12, 2012 3:22 pm

In addition, Dr. Cornelius mentioned that Caspian's father had been good to him. Maybe Dr. Cornelius also wanted to tutor Caspian out of kindness to his late father.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Lilygloves » Oct 19, 2012 12:19 pm

^ Excellent point, Hermitess of Narnia, he could easily keep up to date with news from the castle. He most likely heard that Caspian had enjoyed the stories from his nurse, which would give Cornelius the idea that Caspian could possibly save Narnia. It would be easy for gossip about the young prince to spread, especially the reason as to why the nurse was fired.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Glumpuddle » Oct 24, 2012 10:06 pm

Really interesting question, centaur. Every time I read PC, Cornelius seems like a more mysterious character. How long has he known he's half dwarf? What kinds of adventures has he had searching for Old Narnia? Where did he learn the little magic he knows?

Lilygloves wrote:He most likely heard that Caspian had enjoyed the stories from his nurse, which would give Cornelius the idea that Caspian could possibly save Narnia.


It does seem pretty convenient that both of Caspian's childhood mentors were people that knew something about Old Narnia and were willing to speak to him about it. Is it possible that this not merely coincidence, but an intentional act by Cornelius? Lewis left this part of the story untold, but it's an intriguing idea.

Hermitess of Narnia wrote:In addition, Dr. Cornelius mentioned that Caspian's father had been good to him.


Another interesting clue. I always forget that Cornelius knew Caspian's father.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Lilygloves » Oct 28, 2012 12:53 pm

There is the point that everything is planned by Aslan. The Horse and His Boy is the most evident case for divine intervention. The fact that Caspian has two strong, Narnian mentors could definitely be orchestrated by Aslan.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 28, 2012 1:41 pm

Maybe Aslan planned it, but most likely he ensured there were no other candidates Miraz would have preferred. I think both the nurse and the tutor had been preselected by Caspian's own parents, according to their wishes. A seemingly respectful Miraz would have no authority to change those arrangements, only getting rid of the nurse when she could be shown to do something to which Miraz was deeply opposed.

Hermitess of Narnia wrote:In addition, Dr. Cornelius mentioned that Caspian's father had been good to him. Maybe Dr. Cornelius also wanted to tutor Caspian out of kindness to his late father.


It was actually Caspian's mother who was kind to Dr Cornelius, and since she didn't die until after King Caspian's death, she would have been the one to appoint Caspian's nurse at any rate.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Glumpuddle » Oct 28, 2012 10:21 pm

Lilygloves wrote:There is the point that everything is planned by Aslan. The Horse and His Boy is the most evident case for divine intervention.


That is most definitely a case of Aslan directly intervening. But that doesn't prove he's always intervening.

Aslan is semi all-knowing (ex: he knows about Digory's sick mother), seems to be capable of appearing anywhere at anytime and in any form (ex: He tells Coriakin that he will visit Trumpkin later that day), and has played a direct role in Narnian events more than once (ex: sending Jill and Eustace to find Rilian)...

So, Aslan somehow arranging for Cornelius to be hired is not an impossibility. But it definitely goes beyond the scope of the text. It is pure speculation on something Lewis never addressed.

Hermitess of Narnia wrote:It was actually Caspian's mother who was kind to Dr Cornelius


Indeed. Thanks for the correction. :)
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Anfinwen » Oct 29, 2012 9:40 am

Another point to consider is that Caspian's nurse was also part dwarf. She could have been a friend of, or even related to, Dr. Cornelius. As Caspian's nurse she would influence him as long as she could, and when things went wrong Cornelius was ready to fill her place. However it happened, you can be sure Aslan had a paw :D in it.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Glumpuddle » Oct 29, 2012 4:15 pm

The Lady Arwen Undómiel wrote:Caspian's nurse was also part dwarf.


What are you basing this on?
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Oct 29, 2012 5:03 pm

glumPuddle wrote:What are you basing this on?


When Aslan heals his nurse from death, Lewis describes her as looking "as if she had some dwarf blood in her."
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Glumpuddle » Oct 29, 2012 7:06 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE wrote:When Aslan heals his nurse from death, Lewis describes her as looking "as if she had some dwarf blood in her."


Wow, I completely forgot about that line! In that case, yes, it's very possible that Cornelius and Nurse were in contact.
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby Lady Rosalia » Dec 07, 2012 12:07 pm

Interesting! I just assumed that Miraz or someone similar selected Dr. Cornelius. He was highly learned, and it seems to me that it mentions several years passing between when he was hired and when Caspian had to flee. Perhaps he had done a good job of staying on Miraz's good side all those years? I don't know, and can already see several holes in that theory. Maybe it will spark a better idea from someone else ;)
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Re: Doctor Cornelius' Motives

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Dec 09, 2012 2:47 pm

Yes, I agree that Dr Cornelius was highly learned, but several years also passed before Caspian's nurse was finally dismissed and the Doctor's services were required by Miraz. Even before Dr Cornelius arrived, we learned a lot about Caspian and also Miraz. For instance, that Caspian didn't like his uncle or aunt very much, and that they didn't like him much either. That Miraz only tolerated Caspian's presence because Caspian being so very young at the time provided Miraz the exact excuse he needed to take power as the lawful Regent for Narnia.

Even when Miraz decided that he was more fit to be king than a still-young Caspian, probably after the death of Caspian's own mother, there still remained cogent reasons for Miraz to keep Caspian alive, chief of which was that he had no heir of his own, and that if Miraz, himself, died, there would be no doubt that Caspian was the legitimate king and that the secretly fratricidal Miraz would have been seen to have behaved lawfully and properly. In other words, leaving Caspian alone made Miraz look good. I doubt that Miraz really cared who looked after Caspian until Caspian, himself, spilled the beans about the previously reigning Pevensies.

When Caspian's mother died I think Caspian already had his nurse who would be charged with protecting Caspian as much as she could manage. There may well have been a connection between the nurse and Dr Cornelius, and when the nurse was dismissed, Dr Cornelius saw his time had come. Maybe Dr Cornelius put himself forward as the tutor needed for Caspian's ongoing education, whilst still a minor, maybe insisting he had already been appointed as Caspian's tutor, in accordance with the wills of Caspian's parents. To which Miraz was still adhering for the purposes of legality whilst Caspian was still a minor.

I've still some questions of my own:

Didn't Dr Cornelius say somewhere that Caspian's mother had been the only Telmarine who was ever kind to him? Are we told anywhere what really happened to Caspian's mother? And why wasn't she the Regent for Narnia after her husband died, rather than Miraz? How did Dr Cornelius know that Miraz had killed his brother? Wouldn't a suspicious Queen, realising that she had been shafted, would recognise her own life was in danger and would do her utmost to ensure the safety of her own son after she died?

It may have been Aslan's doing that Caspian remained protected, that Miraz's marriage was not blessed with offspring, and that Dr Cornelius would become his tutor, but I wouldn't overlook Caspian's mother's wishes in the matter, even if she had passed on.
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