Tracing Chivalry Through Knighthood Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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songs and plays; these for them are vanities and follies.?(reader, p.295) Other Knights of the time who read about the Templars see them as an example to follow, knowing they are looked down upon well by God. In the times following the crusades the Knights became more of a recognized social status. Even the errant Knights, those looking alone to seek their fortune, were recognized as part of something great just because they dressed as a knight. These were the years of the tournaments. Tournaments were the places where knights could prove their worth. In the 11th century knights who were deemed worthy could be part of courts of Dukes or Barons of certain areas of what we now know as France. In this time a knight such as William Marshal shined, he held all of the qualities of a

knight, know as chivalry. William thanked God for his success, and ?In his mind, chivalry, the source of grace and favor, was indeed what the theologians of the time defined as sacrament.?(Duby, 69) Chivalry, explained by Duby contains many ideals of the church, loyalty and generosity, as well as others, not generally related to the church. These ideals were feats of valor, as well as the ability to win the love of ladies.(Duby, 86-87) Interestingly enough, the chivalry that knights such as William Marshal followed was different than that of the Templars. For one thing, it became commonplace, mostly influenced by the tournaments, to go above the call of duty and preform feats of valor to gain attention and the hearts of the ladies. At this time Andreas Capellanus was writing

books such as ?The Art of Courtly Love,? entire books that explained how men were supposed to talk and interact with ladies so as to win their hearts and eventually have sex with them. Again we see a rift from the views of the church and the Templar knights, the idea of preforming feats of valor to prove ones worth does not seem to coincide with the ideals of the Templars, for they never would waste their time with anything other than the jobs of the church. Neither could one find Templars in an attempt to woo a lady, for they are strictly forbidden to do so. Yet, this was the knighthood of the time, and the churches views were put aside, at least in part. What is chivalry then, this brings us up to about the 12th and 13th centuries, where all of the knightly concepts have

matured through hundreds of years of trials and tests. The last great tale of the Arthurian world, chivalry in this context is at is ripened state. The chivalry of this era is based on the aristocratic social status of knights, in this case, the Knights of The Round Table. Those knights who work directly for the King of The Britons, Arthur, as well as directly for God, as he has put them on a quest for the Holy Grail. The credentials of these knights are impeccable, and they are of the highest social class possible. Chivalry was in effect a code of morals for these knights to live by, well mannered and truthful, deadly, yet charitable to the weak and merciful, generous and loyal, as well as courageous and valiant. The list continues, gallant and selfless, well born and well

trained in the arts of fighting and chivalry(in the original horse riding sense). We are already familiar with the importance of loyalty in the lord vassal sense of the word, as we are with the generousness associated with Charlemagne in the ?Song of Roland.? The concepts that define chivalry in this later era are many of the same as previous centuries, yet with focus more on some of the more personal aspects of chivalry. The idea of who one is loyal to is now more up for discussion. It is true that the knights are in all ways loyal to their lord, yet now with new concepts that force knights to seek the hearts of women, women are in some ways the objects of great loyalty. I am reminded of the scene in ?Monty Python and the Quest for The Holy Grail? where Lancelot receives a note

from what he believes to be a lady in distress. He follows the words of the note and will stop at nothing to see to it that that lady is safe. This was filmed in the spirit of chivalry?s loyalty to ladies. Battles are fought and wars are waged(such as Arthur vs. Lancelot) for the honor of a woman. In the ?Death of Arthur,? when Lancelot has defeated Mador,?Lancelot, who knew Mador well… saw that he had driven him to the point where he could kill him if he wished, and took pity on him.?(107) This passage shows Lancelot?s compassion for the weak and his mercy. Here is where I see some of what make?s 13th century chivalry different. It seems as if the focus is on projecting an image of ones self on one?s opponent in a way that says, ?I am better than you.? It is all about being in