Beginning with the analysis of the two separate passages found in 5.1.127-139 and 1.3.200-207, there comes into view an overall theme that is central to the overall plot of the play, but is clearly demonstrated in Falstaff’s and Hotspur’s conceptualizations of honor in acts 5 and 1 respectively: the polysemous nature of honor. Meaning, there are countless interpretations of honor, it can be perceived in various and vastly contrasting ways. With respect to Shakespeare’s skillful utilization of the polysemous nature of honor, the two characters, Falstaff and Hotspur, are designful manifestations of such a nature, considering their two distinctly contrasting ideas of what honor is, as well as how their contrasting conceptualizations impact, or influence, their actions. In light of honor’s seemingly countless conceptualizations, Falstaff offers his particularly unique understanding of honor. Briefly at the battle of Shrewsbury, he makes his speech on the subject in the first
“Duty, honor, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be,” (MacArthur). General MacArthur gave this speech when he was accepting the Thayer Award for his service in the military. He was stating that honor should be our main focus when in doing what we want in our lives, and that we should strive for those goals. Honor is defined as high respect; esteem or a privilege. Honor has changed so much over time that it is completely different not only in our American culture, but any other culture in our world today.
“ Nobody can acquire honor by doing wrong,” Thomas Jefferson once declared. The people of Thomas Jefferson's time had high standards towards honor. They were more chivalrous, polite, respectful, considerate, refined, courteous, they paid more attention to morals and ethics. Even in the early days of man honor was something that was held above all else, it was coveted, something that people strove for. Julius Ceasar once stated, “ I love the name of honor, more than I fear death.”
Honor is knowing who and what you care about. Honor is being there for who or what you care about unless they themselves have caused you to change your opinion of them. In the play “Caesar” the most honorable character is Brutus. Shakespeare even portrays Brutus to be the most honorable by showing how he is respected by the people and can change nearly all of the senate’s opinions with his own. In the play “Caesar” Brutus is the most honorable character and Shakespeare shows many attributes that support this claim.
Ralph Emerson was a principal figure in the Transcendentalist movement of the 1840s, and he was also a well-known essayist and poet. His 1841 essay, Self-Reliance, emphasizes the importance of people finding their identity and being true to themselves. Throughout his essay, Emerson strains the importance of individuals avoiding conformity and following their own thoughts and judgments. He obtains his goal of conveying his message by using many allusions to make his point. Allusions help connect the ideas within a piece of writing to the bigger picture.
After reflecting, my code of honor is not much different than the knight’s Code of Chivalry. Protection, God, and truthfulness shows the true charter of a person. Sir Gawain and the other knights of the round table have all sworn to live a righteous and humble life. Sir Gawain lived by the Code of Chivalry, just like we all live by our own code of honor. Our values, morals, and norms make us who are and what we stand for.
The three Ideas of Chivalry (How Chivalry is connected in the stories?) Have you ever been taught how to treat a lady? Have you ever been told how you should be treated? Today, respect for women is different, but I think it’s the same way for men as well. In the old ways, women had to respect their men, and obey them.
Also, in colonial Mexico, men would declare their honor by dueling other men; “Gentlemen might settle accounts of honor with a duel” (Meyer 232). Men would go as far as killing other men to achieve honor in their society. Honor was essential for a man because it earned him respect, power, and importance in their society. People of high status, who have the most honor in their society, also received a very special treatment; “Those of high social position, however, were usually spared humiliating and cruel punishment, escaping with fines or sometimes jail sentence” (Meyer 62). This was also true for people of the higher caste system.
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.
To most people, being honorable is important. To them, upholding their morals and protecting their beliefs is crucial. To others, it may not be as significant. Some people might give in and sacrifice their morals to save their reputation. It’s up to those people to decide which is right.
Have you ever watched a movie or read a book set in medieval times? More accurately called the Middle Ages, medieval times are often described as a world of magic and fantasy. Knights rescue distressed maidens from towers guarded by ferocious fire-breathing dragons or evil witches, the maiden and the knight later marrying each other out of "true love". Though such events only happened in fairy tales, there is historic evidence of a knight class. Qualities like honor were very important to the average knight, because certain traits were all they could lay claim to.