“And though so much distinguished, he was wise/ and in his bearing modest as a maid” (70-71). The Knight is admired by all because of his protection and respect for them.
Hodges, featured in April 1995 edition of The Chaucer Review, Hodges examines the reasons behind Chaucer's decisions on the clothing of his Knight. After examining the introduction of the Knight's character in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, Ms. Hodges said that Chaucer intended his Knight to be the one true to life portrait of a knight of the 14th century-an every knight of sorts. She also concluded that Chaucer wanted to go against the normal chivalric ideal of a knight by presenting a knight as he really might have been: a basically good person, but with imperfections. I disagree with Hodges about Chaucer's intentions when characterizing the knight. I don't think the knight was meant to be a true to life portrait of "the every knight".
Knights are one of the most mistaken figures of the medieval era due to fairytales and over exaggerated fiction novels. When medieval knights roamed the earth, it was known that they were only human and, like humans, had faults. These knights did not always live up to the standards designated by society. However, in The Canterbury Tales, the knight is revealed as a character that would now be considered a knight in shining armor, a perfect role model in how he acts and what he does. Modern day people see them as chivalrous figures instead of their actual role as mounted cavalry soldiers. As time passes, the idea of what a knight is changes from a simple cavalry soldier to a specific type of behavior.
Upon entering his description of the Knight, Chaucer wastes no time to praise this pilgrim in every way. Not only does he note the strength and bravery that the Knight shows in his battles but also his “softer side”, where he speaks about how he “never had foul-spoken in his life”, and wears chainmail “begrimed with rust” (Chaucer 4-5). Compared to the descriptions of many of the other pilgrims, Chaucer only states positive things about this character, using no time to speak negatively about his life. Even when speaking about his “dated” clothing, he spins it around to make it sound like a positive by showing off his selflessness. Along with this, the Knights section
In medieval Europe it was a dangerous and fearless time, as being a knight you weren’t the most outstanding class in the feudal system but you got well looked after.
To what extent was William Marshall’s life as a knight different from other knights of the time? Invariably it was not that much different than those of his peers until his later life. The one thing that set him apart from other knights was his fierce dedication to loyalty.
Ideas that have been taught in many societies since the first civilizations of Mesopotamia to the world now are duty, loyalty and bravery. No period relied on these ideas more than the Middle Ages time of Europe. The European societies were based on the nature of feudalism. Feudalism worked if everyone in the society did their duty and gave loyalty to everyone above the on the social latter. The knight was the backbone of the feudal society. He was the protector of the heavenly Lord, their lady and the earthly lord. The roles and duties of the knight are quotes as, “the most noble knight under Christ, And the loveliest lades that lived on earth ever, and he the comeliest king, that the court holds.” (P. 26) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight gives a perspective to view life from the courtly aspect of the European feudal
Literature of the Middle Ages can not be discussed without acknowledging the undeniable importance of chivalry. Chivalry in relation to the middle ages is defined as “the code of conduct adhered to by Medieval knights with gallant knightly values including honor, bravery, courteousness and honesty.” This key characteristic is essential in defining an ideal knight as well as his expectations. A knight must live by a chivalric code in which he becomes indebted to the people, his fellow knights, and most importantly, his lord. No other knight displayed more of a devotion to upholding the code then Lanval of Marie de France’s lai “Lanval.” Lanval demonstrates his chivalric nature in essential every action from maintaining comitatus amongst the
At this point in history the men who fought the wars were lead by their leaders with a code of chivalry. Chivalry can be explained as “the Anglo-Saxon code on steroids.” (McGee) Which is, explained further, a moral system for a good way to conduct fighting. The knights in Arthurian time went even further with that code to say that it was a way to conduct oneself not only in battle, but at all times. Knights, by being chivalrous, were kind to all people, fought well and true, kept faith and believed in the Christian God, and fought for their kings. Chivalry can be found across the Arthurian texts, The Song of Roland is one of the texts that has multiple examples of chivalry.
There are many misunderstandings with the word chivalry, one of them being that the knight never actually swore an oath of chivalry until later in the middle ages. Chivalry was a word that was created by French-speaking English nobility, during the medieval period. The word originates from the French word cheval meaning horse, and the French word Knecht meant knight, by putting the two words together, we get the word chevalier which meant horseman. During the early medieval ages, a knight was known as a chevalerie which meant horseman. Then the lords, who ruled over the
of the poor outfit of the Knight. Instead he attempts to point out that the
The term “chivalry” refers to one of the most popular medieval social ideals. Indeed, this term has excited the imagination of poets and readers throughout history, and modern cultures continue to revise the chivalric ideals of past ages. However, pinpointing what the term meant within the medieval period is difficult at best. The source of this difficulty lies within the fact that there was never one consistent definition for chivalry. Indeed, the meaning of the word seems to shift between cultures and throughout time. For example, the earliest usage of the word seems to denote only mounted cavalry; however, as time shifts, the word becomes synonymous with certain martial ideals. As the period progresses, the ideal of
The Knight’s true character is portrayed through his modest apparel. His character is displayed by the way he chooses to show himself in public, which is a noble knight, that is why he wears dirty clothes and chooses to come on the pilgrimage straight from battle. “A Knight there was and that a worthy man, that from time that he first began. To riden out, he loved chivalry. Truth and honour, freedom and courtesy,”
The lives of knights depicted in the “The Song of Roland” are a demonstration of the fierce warriorship, aggressiveness, and deep faith of French Knights. A code of chivalry or gallantry existed among these men. At the top of this code of conduct were the highly regarded virtues of honor, faithfulness, courage, compassion, truth, and obedience. Noble knights prized the wares of their trade, such as fine warhorses, armory, battle skills, and fine regalia.
This story tells me that Chaucer holds the knight in high regard. As the creator of this character and his tale, he displays his fondness of the characteristics which he attributes to the knight. Chaucer uses many great adjectives to describe the knight in the general