Differences Between Arcite And Palamon

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In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales he depicts a short story, “The Knight’s Tale”, describing the lives two young cousins named Arcite and Palamon. These two men are from the kingdom of Thebes, which was under the rule of Creon, until it was defeated by Theseus, Duke of Athens. Arcite and Palamon are found and brought back to Athens to be imprisoned for the remainder of their lives. This short story depicts the tale of the fight between Arcite and Palamon over a beautiful woman, Emily. Although, while some things are similar about them, there are also numerous differences. In “The Knight’s Tale”, Arcite and Palamon share the same background, love for Emily, and the feeling of luck, while how they perceive Emily, their location, and their…show more content…
When Palamon is first struck by Emily’s beauty he says, “I do not know whether she is a woman or a goddess, / but my guess is that she is in truth Venus.” (243-244) Palamon sees Emily as the goddess of Venus, while on the other hand, Arcite sees her as a human woman. Arcite tells Palamon, “You love a holy deity; / I love a created human being.” (300-301) The cousins disagree over if Emily should be loved as a human or worshiped as a goddess. Another difference between them is the location in which they end up. Arcite becomes free, away from the sight of Emily, but able to capture her with an army. Palamon stays imprisoned, able to stay in sight of Emily, but no way to get to her. Arcite solves his problem by sneaking into the castle as a working man but his true identity is discovered by Palamon and they intend to duel over Emily. Before the fight Arcite and Palamon each pray different prayers to different gods. Arcite prays to the goddess Venus that he will win Emily’s love, and Palamon prays to the god Mars that he will win the war over Emily. In the end both of their prayers are answered, but Aricte dies shortly after the fight and Palamon ends up marrying Emily years
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