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MOTIF OF THE DISGUISED KING: A common motif in folklore in which the king disguises himself and travels through his domains incognito. Examples include Prince Hal/Henry V in Shakespeare's plays, in which the king dons a cloak to obscure his features and then walks among his troops to converse with them and get a sense of their morale before battle. In Greek epics, Odysseus returns to his kingdom of Ithaca in disguise and skulks among the suitors to gather intelligence toward the end of The Odyssey. In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn is the rightful king of the west, but he remains disguised as the homeless and impoverished Strider. See also the , below.

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