Chivalry In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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Chivalry is dead. According to a lot of woman it has been dead for a while now. Men have stopped opening doors (Madamenoire 1), getting up from their seats on the bus (Madamenoire 2) and moving heavy objects for women (Madamenoire 6). Chivalry started in the 5th century and ended around the 15th. The Canterbury Tales takes place in the 14th century meaning that chivalry should be alive. Three of the four tales express the idea of Chivalry the best. The Knight’s Tale, The Wife of Bath’s Tale and The Franklin’s Tale give evidence as to what Chaucer’s opinion on chivalry is. Based on evidence from the tales, Chivalry is admired in The Canterbury Tales. The Knight’s Tale expressed the rule “to preserve to the end in anything they do” (Knight…show more content…
A knight rapes a woman and instead of being sentenced to death, he is tasked with finding what women desire the most in the world. He sets off on a journey to find the answer but it is proving to be more difficult. He gets a variety of answers. He believes all is lost until he sees a old, ugly woman. He asks her the question and she says she has the perfect answer but he must do him a favor in return. Having no other choice he agrees. He goes to the queen and tells her the answer, women most desire to be in control of their husbands. He gets the question right and is saved. The ugly woman asks the knight to marry her. He says yes after saying no the first time and the two get married. After, the go to bed together and the knight “wallowed back and forth in desperate style” (Chaucer 175). The knight doesn’t want to be there in bed with her but stays because it is what is right. The ugly woman offers him a choice, he can have her be ugly and loyal or pretty and unfaithful. The knight thinks and finally says “My lady and my love, my dearest wife, I leave the matter to your wise decision” (Chaucer 180). The knight was suffering being married to the ugly woman, but he then finds respect for her calling her his love and wife. She rewards him for answering correctly by giving him a woman who is pretty and loyal. Because he gives her control over him, to do what she wants and decide for him, he honors her and is
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