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Chivalry Essay, Research Paper


Chivalry, order of knighthood and, particularly, codification of knightly behavior that was a characteristic of the High and subsequently Middle ages in western Europe ( Encarta ) . Having developed out of the lofty and pious ideals of the Crusades, gallantry encouraged high personal values and well-manicured behaviour. Loyalty to one & # 8217 ; s Godhead, heroism, honestness, unimportance, religion in God, and regard and fear for adult females were foremost in the codification of Knightly behavior of the Medieval ages. It flourished in the thirteenth century and finally merged into the Renaissance thought of the gentleman in the sixteenth century ( Encarta ) .

In the twelfth century the term Chevalier ( equestrian ) acquired a intension of award, and the English term knight came to hold the same significance ( Encarta ) . Knighthood and gallantry? the ethos and ideals of knighthood? acquired a mystique that combined blue qualities, Christian virtuousnesss, and the courtly love of adult females ( Encarta ) . The ideal knight should be a adult male of art, trueness, and generousness, like the heroes of heroic poem poesy ( Encarta ) . In the eyes of the church, he should set his blade at the service of the hapless and destitute and besides take portion in the Crusades to the Holy Land ( Encarta ) . From southern France came the thought that a knight should function a lady ( frequently promised or married to another ) whom he loved passionately, if hopelessly ( Encarta ) . An illustration of this is when Gawain helped the princess to safety in the film First Knight.

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Though many fell dreadfully short of gallantry, knights were purportedly bound to this codification. Since Arthur & # 8217 ; s tribunal of the Round Table came closest to this, most frequently it became the illustration. King Arthur himself was exalted as the primary function theoretical account, due to his being at the caput of the Table and his high moral codification expressed in all of the love affairs refering to him.

Knowing that he went to his decease, ? Morte vitamin D Arthur? still had no pick but to murder his enemy Madred ( a name traceable to significances of decease ) because his ethical motives would non let him to make otherwise. He loses his life as predicted in the dream having Sir Gawain, but dies pure and honest, and he is content in that. He senses the death of his imperium, and opts to decease with it instead than fight in vain against it. With his worthy nephew Gawain and all but two of his ground forces deceased, he has his follower throw his darling blade Excalibur into the lake from whence it came. After two unreliable failures at the act, it eventually returns to the lake, its rhythm symbolic of the rise and autumn of gallantry ( Tun

ball ) . The fact that Sir Bedivere twice does non allow travel the blade and the common mans rabid onslaught and larceny of the fallen knights illustrates the loss of religion in Arthur, and he does good to decease at his clip. The questionability of his grave ( unmarked and undocumented ) furthers his function as more of a symbol and ideal instead than an existent individual.

Arthur & # 8217 ; s nephew, Sir Gawain, is more complex and more existent a character, though he is less known. His flawlessness comes from the really fact that he is fallible, and hence human. Though everyone else in the tribunal exalted his award, he had a humble construct of

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himself, believing that he was included in the Round Table merely by the virtuousness of his relation to Arthur. In accepting the game of the Green Knight, Arthur explains & # 8220 ; I am the

weakest, good I know, and of wit feeblest ; And the loss of my life would be least of any & # 8221 ; ( Tunball ) . When others, non cognizing of his individuality, talk of the celebrity of Gawain, he goes so far as to deny the name as his. When the married woman of the Godhead comes to him the first twenty-four hours and says, & # 8221 ; For every bit certain as I sit here, Sir Gawain you are ; Whom all the universe worships. & # 8221 ; ( First Knight ) , he replies, & # 8220 ; I am non he of whom you have heard & # 8221 ; ( First Knight ) . He learns and his character develops and strengthens through this experience of failure. The Green Knight gives Gawain a opportunity to see himself from a more distant and nonsubjective position, and the Green Knight in the terminal is more impressed than is Gawain himself.

He is a casebook illustration of gallantry. It is simple to maintain religion every bit long as it is non threatened. Sir Gawain is the most perfect ideal of the medieval knight because non merely does he follow the philosophies of gallantry, but he besides goes beyond them to better himself, and feels shame at his defects. Personal growing consequences from failure, and without growing there is no character. Gawain keeps the girdle as a item of this failure with the purpose of ne’er once more executing such a title ( Tunball ) .

Arthur and Chaucer & # 8217 ; s Knight are strong illustrations of gallantry, but at that place has been cogent evidences of small trial and growing except for that of Sir Gawain.

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Work Cited

Encarta? Concise Encyclopedia Article

hypertext transfer protocol: // & # 8230 ;

First Knight. Dir. Jerry Zucker. Perf. Sean Connery, Richard Ger.

Columbia Pictures, 1995.

Tunball, Stephen. The Book of the Medieval Knight. Weaponries and Armor Press. New York,



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