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Medieval Romance(s) SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT AND LA MORTE D’ ARTHUR
What is Chivalry? Definition: Chivlary has come to be known as courteous and gallant behavior toward women in modern society, stemming from the qualities expected of a knight in the middle ages. These accepted behaviors often included courage, honor and justice among others.
Is chivalry dead in today’s society? And then there’s this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5uz3RlcYl0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5uz3RlcYl0
4 Principal Characteristics of a Medieval Romance Chivalry The Supernatural Knights and Kings Quest
Chivalry Chivalry - The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women It was the duty of a Middle Ages Knight to learn how to fight and so serve their liege Lord according to the Code of Chivalry. The Code of Chivalry dictated that a Knight should be brave and fearless in battle but would also exhibit cultured Knightly qualities showing themselves to be devout, loyal, courteous and generous. There was not an authentic Knight’s Code of Chivalry as such - it was a moral system which went beyond rules of combat and introduced the concept of chivalrous conduct - qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women.
Code of Chivalry Chivalry and King Arthur The ideals of a knight’s Code of Chivalry were publicized in the poems, ballads, writings and literary works. The Dark Age myths of Arthurian Legends featuring King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table further strengthen the idea of a Knights Code of Chivalry. The Arthurian legend revolves around the Code of Chivalry which was adhered to by the Knights of the Round Table - Honor, Honesty, Valor and Loyalty which were most likely a product of the seven Christian values of Chivalry (often associated with the seven Cardinal virtues in the Bible):
VirtueDescription Humility (pride) Seeing ourselves as we are and not comparing ourselves to others Generosity (avarice) Generosity is the ability to allow others to get the credit or praise. Giving without the expectations of the other person Love (envy) Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake.
Kindness (wrath) Kindness is taking a tender approach with patience and compassion Self-Control (lust) Self control is the ability to prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation; using something to maximum efficiency without damage. Faith and Temperance (gluttony) Accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves natural balance Zeal (sloth) The energetic response of the heart to what is right or correct. VirtueDescription
The Supernatural The Supernatural - an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe Note that in most medieval romances, the supernatural is defined by fantastical creatures such as dragons, trolls, elves, etc. Additionally, elements of the supernatural can be associated with magic and spells. Often, the hero of the quest must face and overcome an opposition of supernatural nature to triumph
Knights and Kings The King oversaw the workings of the Feudal System. In the feudal system, the king owns all of the kingdoms land. Based on their ranking in society and the allegiance to the king, followers (Barons) were given portions of land to oversee for the king. Knights were given land by a Baron in return for military service when demanded by the King. Knights, in turn, also protected the Baron, as well as the Manor, from outside threats. The Knights were also awarded land for their own personal use and distributed the remainder to villeins (serfs).
The Quest Quest : An expedition undertaken by a knight to perform a prescribed feat In any medieval romance, the hero must partake in a quest where he (or she) often achieves a goal, is rewarded with treasure and/or learns a lesson. Famous Quests in Literature: The Quest of the Holy Grail (King Arthur) Gigamesh Odysseus in The Odyssey
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Follows the adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s round table. Gawain is sent on a quest to discover the identity of a mysterious Green Knight, which tests his adherence to his sense of chivalry through a lesson or morality Contains overt elements of the supernatural throughout the tale Follows the adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s round table. Gawain is sent on a quest to discover the identity of a mysterious Green Knight, which tests his adherence to his sense of chivalry through a lesson or morality Contains overt elements of the supernatural throughout the tale
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