King Arthur's Court Essay

King Arthur's Court Essay

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Throughout British history, especially between the time periods 1485-1603, obtaining the status of a “knight” and furthermore, being bestowed knightship, was a great deal of honor. Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing of the crown on August 22 1485 until his coincidental death on the 21 of April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor. The Tudor dynasty was a European house from 1485 until 1603. While knights displayed many positive attributes, they also faced many hardships being a knight. Hardships are more commonly known as tests. Tests were effectively used to evaluate a knight’s loyalty to there king. A chivalrous knight was a highly touted individual that proved to be extremely valuable. However, a knight that betrayed a king was labeled untrustworthy and therefore demoted. Chivalrous acts prove how well respected and exceptional a knight is, while betrayal is invalidating and shows a knight is weak and unworthy. Tests evaluate if they are worthy or unworthy of having such a significant position of power.
When you think of a classic knight, you think of a bold, courageous, and fearless warrior who would dominate their opponent in the battlefield. However, what made knights great was their acts of chivalry. A knight who displayed chivalry boasted ideal qualifications, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. For example, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain makes a speech to King Arthur (117-134) and within the speech he demonstrates two examples of chivalrous behavior. First, Gawain refers to Guenevere as “my liege lady” (120) which by definition mean that he is forever at her service. In addition, Gawain shows humility in lines 128-131 by declaring himself ...


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...ing becomes more suspicious by the knight’s description at the water’s edge. "I have seen nothing but wind and waves." (P.182) Finally, on the king’s last attempt, Sir Bedivere complies, returns to lake once more, throws the sword in. Yes, this may be interpreted as betrayal; however, the under-lying concept was to "test" how reliable and loyal Sir Bedivere was to the King. Which however, he fails miserably.
In conclusion, tests verify the outcome of knights. Meaning, will a knight display chivalrous traits that exemplify his true character or will he falter under the pressure of their responsibilities. Again, Chivalrous acts prove how well respected and exceptional a knight may be, while betrayal is invalidating and shows a knight is weak and unworthy. Therefore, tests define the outcome of a knight. Will he act chivalrous, or will he betray. That is the question.

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