The Canterbury Tales Essay Research Paper Knight — страница 2
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in the times. There is a sense that the ideals of Knighthood and also the society are changing from being based upon honor to being based upon materialistic gain. The Knight?s characterization is not merely that of a noble man, but also that of a modest man. The Knight, although he is very accomplished in the art of battle, never bragged about his prowess, or used his abilities to belittle anyone or boost himself. Chaucer writes, ?And though he [was wise as well as bold,] and of his [demeanor] as meeke as is a maide.? (General Prologue, 78-9). This characterization is preceded by the narrator telling us about how sovereign the Knight?s reputation is. When all of this is considered, the Knight is provided with an extremely heroic disposition. The Knight is depicted as the type of person who will save your life and never ask for anything in return. He is the most admirable man imaginable, because although he has achieved everything, he doesn?t boast about it, nor does he consider himself better than anyone else. Chaucer illustrates this quality, through the images of the Knight?s clothing. Chaucer describes the Knight?s appearance when he says, ?His [horses] were goode, but he was not [gaily dressed.] Of fustian he [wore] a [tunic all rust stained from his coat of mail.]? (General Prologue, 74-6). The Knight?s clothing is neither flashy or expensive, and is actually worn and rusty, from being used in battle. This description provides the Knight with an attitude of elegance without extravagance. The Knight doesn?t care what others think of his clothing, because to him his clothing is merely for function and not fashion. The Knight?s attitude and clothing truly reflects the rest of his life, because he lived to serve others and not merely for himself. The Squire is more of a self-pleasing, egotistical man, in that every action within his life is aimed to improve his social and economical standing. The Squire?s attitude is shown through the images of his body and his dress. Chaucer tells us that, ?…he was of [moderate] lengthe, and wonderly [agile] and of great strengthe? (General Prologue, 83-4). The Squire is described as of average size, but is of seemingly extraordinary abilities. These traits don?t seem to be indicative of an egotistical man, but due to the fact that they follow Chaucer?s description of his hair, they receive that connotation. The Squire is depicted as a vain man due to the description of his long curly hair, which he loved. The Squire cared immensely for his appearance, which unlike the Knight, carried over to his clothing and actions. Chaucer tells us, ?[Embroidered] was he as it were a [meadow] Al full of fresshe flowers, white and red; Singing he was or floiting all day…? (General Prologue, 89-91). The Squire walks about as if he were the king of the world, seemingly without a trouble in his mind. This gives him the appearance that he considers himself superior to everyone around him. The Knight and the Squire, though they both have virtually the same profession, act, dress, think and carry themselves very differently. By pairing these two characters together in his prologue, Chaucer is able to show his readers the social corruption that the Squire has, while showing more clearly the integrity and honor of the Knight. This also helps to portray the vast changes between the honorable medieval times and the more materialistic renaissance.