Chivalry Back in the medieval period, Chivalry was a set of rules that were to be followed by the Knights. The Chivalric Code was made up of many different ideas such as: honesty, forbearance, courtliness, humility, loyalty, sovereignty, and respect for women. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte d’Arthur, and King Arthur they follow these rules, which has some advantages and disadvantages. In which version do the characters best display chivalry? Which version’s characters are the most admirable and why?
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.
Chivalry Chivalry is the medieval code of conduct for knighthood. The code of conduct includes honor, honesty, courteousness, and bravery. The word chivalry comes from the french word “chevalier” meaning horsemen; a knight or a young man. Knights were expected to be brave, aggressive, and fierce. Although expected to be aggressive, knights are also expected to show mercy towards their enemies.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales, is a popular story about a pilgrimage taken by 30 people, including himself, to Canterbury, England. It starts with a general prologue that helps break down each of the characters. The reader gets an understanding of who the people are that are travelling on this pilgrimage. Certain characters are part of each of the three estates that Chaucer describes, which are the people who pray, the people who fight, and the people who work. The specific characters he uses for the clergy members are the monk, friar, and prioress, the knight, the squire, and the yeoman are all part of the nobility class, and the workers are the miller, the reeve, and the pardoner.
During the Medieval times of England, society was created as a pure patriarchy by the Christian church, and nearly everything was made male-dominated where the men held the power and their female counterparts held little to no power at all. Arthurian texts such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight showcase many of the characters mostly following these traditions with the men being portrayed as strong-hearted knights who follow a code of chivalry, and the women as passive and submissive beings to the men. However, Arthur’s half-sister Morgan Le Fay is featured in Sir Gawain, and she does not play any parts given to her as a woman, as she is portrayed as an enchantress and an evil, manipulative woman, which is an archetype that was given to women who did not follow their given gender roles. Morgan Le Fay subverts the traditional roles for women by having her own power in the play, and overall presents herself as the antithesis to the church and the patriarchy of the Medieval times.
1. The dichotomous Nature of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The topic of spirituality, divinity and otherworldly phenomena is quite common in medieval literature and there is a multitude of contexts, in which these topics are addressed. The protagonists of those texts find themselves in a balancing act between the secular world and a supernatural world, where they need to overcome struggles to master the difficulties of their worlds’ dualisms. Be it an otherworld of fairies or the christian hereafter, those worlds and the mundane conduct often influence each other reciprocally in the stories of medieval literature.
One of the key components of any literary work is the depiction of central characters and their various traits. The personality of the key characters can be revealed to readers through various ways including the characters’ own thoughts and opinions, their actions which help in shaping their personalities, and also the attitudes other characters have towards them. All of these attributes help in shaping up the believability and appeal of these central characters towards the readers. However, writers sometimes tend to overestimate the perfection of their central characters and in the process distort the illusion and allure of reality for readers regarding these characters. Sir Gawain and the Green knight is a famous medieval England poem written during the late 14th century.
Two romantic heroes, a pirate and a knight, compete to be the best. Westley (the man in black), the pirate, and Sir Gawain the knight. Both on a journey, one on the journey of true love and the other on the journey to his “demise”. Eight ideals of knighthood: justice, generosity, sincerity, courtesy, charity, loyalty, boldness and temperance. Although both heros do an amazing job in demonstrating the eight ideals of knighthood one does it better as opposed to the other one, Westley surpasses Sir Gawain, from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by the pear poet, in being the best romantic hero.
Romance as a genre has two basic plots: the adventure plot and the love plot. In these plots, there is usually an individual hero who is on a quest. The hero, usually a knight, encounters one or more others. The two most important others are the public other and the private other. The public other competes with the outside worlds, such as: enemies, animals, monsters, strange environments and adverse conditions.
In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the characteristics of the ideal knight is represented by King Arthur’s court. However, it will be challenged by The Green Knight as well as Bertilak’s court. Sir Gawain would reach a new understanding that ideals would eventually remain as ideals and that he is human, therefore it is perfectly fine to feel weak. The clashes between religion and chivalry that defines the ideal knight in King Arthur’s court.
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales contains two comparable tales; “The Knights Tale” and “The Miller’s Tale.” These two tales show contradicting realities of love while exploring how to win someone over. Both stories display more than one man trying to win the attention of a woman. To begin, the love in “The Knights Tale” represents courtly love.
A true knight is one who demonstrates the virtues of generosity and magnanimity. In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer uses characters such as the Knight and the Landowner who tell stories that reflect on their own personalities. The Knight tells a story about Theseus, Palamon, and Arcite, who are all true knight’s. The Landowner tells about characters like Arveragus, Aurelius, and the magician who are lacking the virtues of a true knight.