Froissart's Portrayal Of Chivalry

1788 Words8 Pages
The concept of Chivalry has baffled countless medieval historians throughout the years. Chivalry was supposedly a code that knights and nobles lived their lives by. Similarly to other social structures that were in place in the past historians have struggled to draw conclusions as to the extent to which people lived according to chivalric principles. Sir Walter Scott believed that knights aspired to the code of chivalry, but that in the real world the code was impossible to live according to such a code. This conclusion gives a clear picture of chivalry. The aristocracy strived to live according to the paragons of chivalry; however, it was simply impossible to adhere to such rules in real life. Froissart painted a romantic image of The Hundred…show more content…
Froissart’s accounts at Crecy give an account of the new battle tactics that were developing. Froissart gives the historian an insight into the thoughts of the aristocracy at the time. Consequently, Froissart’s portrayal of chivalry is only somewhat inaccurate. His writings show us some of the chivalric attitudes at the time. His perception of the battlefield that is also accurate. However, like many men of his time he was full of praise for the medieval tourney. It is likely that his descriptions of the tourney are indeed…show more content…
Looking to other contemporary sources is important when coming to a conclusion about Froissart 's writings about chivalric attitudes. If we take the character of Edward III, for example. Throughout his writings on the King, Froissart is full of praise. When Edward died in 1376 Froissart describes him as someone who was ‘mourned for his noble qualities’. However, other chroniclers such as Walter Bower of Scotland were not as kind in their appraisals of the King. Bower claimed that Edward had gone against a previous peace agreement with King David of Scotland. Edward is described as someone who is ‘unconcerned with his own salvation and a breaker of oaths’. We should be careful of this source due to its origins in Scotland, however, with both sources clashing to the extent they do, one must also question Froissart’s motives when he was writing about Edward. It is likely that neither of them is trustworthy sources. Froissart as a clerk in the English chancery was always going to praise the English king. Given that Scotland was going through a period of continuous war with the English at the time it would be likely that Bower would be prone to exaggerate things. It, therefore, seems likely that although Edward III was not the immoral King that Bower said he was that he was also not the chivalrous leader that Froissart claimed he was. This once again shows us Froissart 's viewpoint of chivalry. It demonstrates to us that it is likely that he was
Open Document