Chivalry Through the Ages Essay

Chivalry Through the Ages Essay

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Lytton Strachey once said, “The old interests of aristocracy-the romance of action, the exalted passions of chivalry and war-faded into the background, and their place was taken by the refined and intimate pursuits of peace and civilization.” The differences between medieval and modern times show the progression in love and honor and chivalry. From the era of King Arthur’s knights to the modern times of Nicholas Sparks’ novels, the picture of what was originally a knight fighting for his “Princess” altered to a man dating a woman, to prove that through the generations courtly love will always exist but because of the change of responsibility, man no longer has the obligation in following the code of chivalry to pursue his girl.
In the Medieval literature the man represents a “Knight in Shining Armor” who goes by the Code of Chivalry to liberate the “damsel in distress” (Chivalry 2). The Code of Chivalry “was a moral system which went beyond rules of combat and introduces the concept of Chivalrous conduct-qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women” (2). The men in the Arthurian Era also exhibited medieval courtly love to the women. Men who were “knights [served] his courtly lady with the same obedience and loyalty which he owes to his liege lord. [The woman] are in complete control of the love relationship, while he owes her obedience and submission” (Schwartz 2). In The Allegory of Love, C.S Lewis describes the “secret love of Lancelot and Guinevere” (Mims 3). Lancelot represents “the easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized” (Medieval Courtly Love 2). Lancelot demonstrates this quote when he sets out to rescue Queen Guinevere...


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... still stand today with the same expectations as they once were, because without the “fight” that a man has to win, or the respect that a man should give a woman, love would not overcome.


Works Cited

"Chivalry." Medieval Life and Times. Web. 01 Dec. 2011.
"Code of Chivalry." Medieval Life and Times. Web. 01 Dec. 2011.
"Medieval Courtly Love." Medieval Life and Times. Web. 06 Nov. 2011.
"Medieval View of Love: General." Courtly Love. A Guide to the Study of Literature: A Companion Text for Core Studies 6, Landmarks of Literature, English Department, Brooklyn College. 17 Aug. 2000. Web. 06 Nov. 2011.
Mims, J. E. "Courtly Love." 26 May 1997. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
Schwartz, Dr. Debora B. "Backgrounds to Romance: Courtly Love." Cal Poly CLA - College of Liberal Arts. Web. 06 Nov. 2011.
"The Notebook." Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central Publishing. Web. 01 Dec. 2011.

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