Sir Perceval Of Galles Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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The method in which Robert Thornton of East Newton, the likely author of Sir Perceval of Galles, portrays Sir Perceval shows that this young hero is a parody of the Chivalric knight described in The Book of the Order of Chivalry. Specifically, the poem appoints an arbitrary positive value of moderation, especially considering the amount of food consumed and how Perceval obtains it. Sir Perceval of Galles parodies the Chivalric knight through absurdity, rhetorical questioning, and irony, turning Sir Perceval into a caricature of the ideal knight. The scene in which Sir Perceval enters the Black Knight’s abode and steals half of the fodder in the manger and half of the food in the hall provides an excellent example of how absurdity functions…show more content…
The passage asks, “How myght he more mesure be?” (461-2). According to Perceval, he shows restraint by eating half of the food on the table yet ignores the unmeasured trespass. When deconstructing the term mesure as being “beyond all bounds (in adverbial phrases); excessively; without excessive; boundless” (OED, 1.c.), this question reveals that while Perceval feels he cannot be more restrained, the speaker holds a different view—Perceval acts excessively and out of bounds rather than the reverse. On a literal level, Sir Perceval believes himself “to be moderate or restrained in action; [which shows] consideration towards (a person)” (OED, 1.e.), in this case the Black Knight. He does not question his act of breaking and entering the hall, taking food that is not his, and later stealing the sleeping woman’s ring and replacing it with his. The more accurate meaning of Perceval’s measure is to “complete the sum of (one’s iniquities) to add what is wanting to the completeness of (a person’s misfortunes)” (OED, 1.d.). This question points to Perceval’s immoral, unjust actions and directs attention to his flawed ethics, which do not align with the chivalric
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