The Age of Chivalry

The Age of Chivalry

Length: 1074 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Age of Chivalry

A chivalrous knight was a very different sort of man from the proud, unruly, land-grabbing, brutal warriors who seemed to have been only too common in the Middle Ages. Warriors could or could not turn into chivalrous knights. Chivalry was a game of make-believe, a fashionable game that the ruling classes played when they were not busy quarrelling and scheming for more land, following their lords to war, or trying to squeeze more out of the peasants and merchants who lived on their land. These people were either "bold bad barons" or they were "very perfect gentle knights." They were probably a mixture of both. In this essay it will prove that chivalry did exist and played a part in a knight's training.

The age of the knights were often called the age of chivalry. Chivalry came from the old French word chevalerie, which meant, "Horse soldiering." Over time, the term came to mean a code of behavior or sets of rules in which a knight was expected to follow and live by. To understand the code of chivalry, the steps a person must take in preparation in becoming a knight have to be look upon. A young boy training for knighthood usually left home around the age of seven. He was sent to a castle of an overload or relative since it was the only logical place for a boy to learn all the required knight skills. There he went through more than one stage of training. The first stage to knighthood was becoming a page where code of chivalry was taught.

A page usually trained in the home of a knight or nobleman as mentioned before. There he went through a bloody battle, testing his strength and power through daily exercise. His exercises would be consisted of running, wrestling, learning how to wield lance, spear and sword. He was taught by follow knights or nobleman how to slash and parry strokes using a blunted sword. He also learns to ride and how to vault onto a bareback horse. During this stage of training the most difficult and tedious part was courtesy. A page was an errand boy too, and he had to learn to serve other knights and nobles. There was a belief that this was one of the key elements in becoming a good knight.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Age of Chivalry." 12 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The History of Knighthood and Chivalry Essay

- In the Middle Ages the most famous people outside of royalty were knights. One of the greatest honors was to be chosen by a lord, as a page the next step is a squire, then knighthood. The road to knighthood was a long journey and not for everyone, a knight had to be humble and courteous. Chivalry had to be learned while becoming a model person for peasants and royalty to honor and look up to. While a squire was training he was apprenticed to a knight and he would serve him at the same time he must train and gain skills....   [tags: middle age, knights, horses]

Research Papers
947 words (2.7 pages)

The Code of Chivalry Essay

- ... As shown, chivalry is not just any word because it comes from various words that also reflect its meaning. Within the concept of chivalry there existed a set of laws or rules that people called Code of Chivalry (). To have chivalric deeds a person had to commit to these set of codes. In the most basic terms, the code of chivalry are guidelines for qualified knights. Knights were obliged once committed to follow the code of chivalry without breaking any of the laws or rules (). There were severe consequences like death for those knights who broke these code of chivalry ()....   [tags: virtues, honor, and courtly love]

Research Papers
1036 words (3 pages)

The Code of Chivalry Essay

- The epic poem, “The Lay of the Nibelungs” (1200’s), set to practice the major pillars in the code of chivalry that the Duke of Burgundy in the 14th century eventually condensed and ascribed to the Burgundian Knights: Faith, Charity, Justice, Sagacity, Prudence, Temperance, Resolution, Truth, Liberality, Diligence, Hope, and Valor. Though values bear merit, “The Lay of the Nibelungs” teaches that true worth and longevity comes from assessing the situation and applying intellect to the code, from submitting to God, and from not cheating the system (the laws and cultural norms of the time that be)....   [tags: The Lay of the Nibelungs]

Research Papers
1625 words (4.6 pages)

Chivalry Essay example

- Chivalry Chivalry, as defined by Encyclopedia Americana is a system of values and ideals of conduct held by knights in medieval Europe. In its institutional form, chivalry was an informal, international order to which many, but not all, of the ruling class (nobility) belonged. The word is derived from the Latin caballus (horse) through the French chevalier (“horseman” or knight). Chivalry was born from Feudalism in the late middle ages introducing a new, feminine point of view stressing virtue and ethics....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2476 words (7.1 pages)

The Pressure to Marry at a Certain Age Essay

- Beginning at a very young age we are programmed to believe that our lives are on a schedule, and the goal of all is the same, to meet someone, fall in love, get married, buy a house, have children, raise a family, grow old together and live happily ever after, ‘til death do us part. With this in mind, if for some reason this plan does not happen within a certain period, it becomes an issue, and questions from others often arise. For example, if a person is not married by the age of thirty, then “something must be wrong”, or if a woman has not had a child by the age of thirty-five, her “biological clock is ticking, and she should get busy“....   [tags: marriage, age, ]

Research Papers
505 words (1.4 pages)

Chivalry in Elizabethan Poetry Essay

- Introduction The reign of Elizabeth I is considered to be the “Golden Age” of English history. During her reign, arts and literature flourished and became more diverse, which can clearly be seen in some of the greatest poets’ works, such as Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Philip Sydney, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare. Poetry in the Elizabethan age went through many changes and developments, in terms of form, imagery, subjects and themes. Most poets of this age tried to explore new genres and themes, however Queen Elizabeth I remained one of the poets’ main influences....   [tags: Thomas Wyatt, Philip Sydney, courtly love]

Research Papers
2157 words (6.2 pages)

Chivalry in Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France Essay

- Chivalry in Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France ...But the age of chivalry is gone... Amidst a wealth of metaphors and apocalyptic maxims, this line is perhaps the most memorable from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. He masterfully employs the concept of chivalry to express his anti-revolutionary sentiment, and he dramatically connects it to images of land, sex, birth and money to express the widespread disorder that accompanies a loss of chivalry. Nowhere is this idea more explicit than in the following passage: ...–But the age of chivalry is gone....   [tags: Reflections on the Revolution in France]

Research Papers
1926 words (5.5 pages)

Chivalry in the Middle Ages: Illusion or Reality? Essay

- The ideals of chivalry are inextricably linked with the medieval period, and even today it is an ideal we still pay lip service to. Many historians however have questioned whether the knights and nobility of the time actually took it any more seriously than we do. Johan Huizinga described it as “a cloak for a whole world of violence and self-interest” , an “illusion of society [that] clashed with the reality of things” , and in our rather cynical age, this is probably the predominant view of the middle ages....   [tags: Middle Ages]

Research Papers
1908 words (5.5 pages)

Knights And Chivalry Essay

- KNIGHTS AND CHIVALRY Knights were a large part of the Middle Ages. A lot people think that knights are soldiers who were covered in metal, and fought dragons and evil people. Although they were warriors, or soldiers, knights never fought dragons. Knights fought for their king or lord because land was promised to them. To become a knight you had to be born a noble boy and start training at age seven. The boys didn't go to school because he was sent to live with another noble family as a page. A page learned to work with horses and weapons....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
677 words (1.9 pages)

Chivalry Essay

- When Chivalry first began, many citizens felt this was mostly for the courtship of women. However, this also included such things as proper etiquette at the dinner table, generosity toward females, and the aspect of religion to the church. Becoming a knight was not an easy task at all. The whole process was more of an apprenticeship program like in today’s society. First, at about the age of seven, you were to go to the house of a noble and be their squire. Throughout this period, the young man would gain wisdom as well as skills he would need to develop in battle to become a successful knight....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
372 words (1.1 pages)

During this period of time he would also learn the code if courtesy (polite behavior). "A page should not sit until bidden; when spoke to should not fidget, wriggle, scratch or lean against a post; and should speak only when spoken to."1 It is very obvious why this was the most difficult part in being a page. Proper behavior was hard to follow. The process in becoming a knight was not over as yet. After successfully been trained as a page the next step to knighthood was becoming a squire.

Around the age of fifteen or sixteen a page then became a squire. Being a squire was not as bad as a page. There was more excitement. A squire was a servant to a knight, and he would accompany him wherever he went. This meant that a squire could go to tournaments, and they even got the day before where all the squires were allowed to show off their skills by taking part in a mock tournament.
In the tournaments of the knights, a squire would stand by his knight ready to aid him, handing him new lances when needed, or if he was wounded, help him from the field. Another exciting duty was squires get the opportunity to guard prisoners. They took and entertained the captives until a ransom had been agreed. Many squires took pride in these occasions to show how chivalrously they could behave. However, a squire did not have only excitement, but he had his normal duties and services to perform also.

"They squire's whole life was governed by the notion of personal service to the knight. He woke him up in the morning and helped him dress. He would welcome visitors on his behalf. He carved meat at the table according to special custom: a duck had to be broken, a hen despoiled and a peacock disfigured. His last duty of the day, he helped his knight prepares for bed. He, then, slept on the floor by his knight's bed in case his master should want him during the night."2 Like the belied that if a boy (page) was to become a good knight he has to learn to serve, it was believe that for a squire experiencing such training at first had he would then appreciated the honor and responsibilities of knighthood.
To graduate to the status of a knight, a squire usually performed a heroic deed in battle. The squire was welcomed into the order of knights by being dubbed with a sword or slapped in the face by his lord. Afterwards the new knight would receive his gift of land. As the cult of chivalry developed in the 12th and 13th century, knighting if a man might be preceded by a religious vigil in which the knight vowed to uphold Christian and chivalric principles.

The code o chivalry is bow understood since an in depth view of the process and training in becoming a knight in explained, but there were other things that influence chivalry. Courtly love was, one of the major influences on chivalry, the system that came to define relationships between knights and ladies in the feudal court. A knight devoted himself completely to a married or engages to marry a woman at court. He tried to win her favor by waged war or went into combat with another knight on horseback fighting with lances, usually in a tournament. On a less dangerous side, a knight in hoping to entertain and win his lady, wrote poetry, sang love songs, and played musical instruments. If the knight was lucky and proven himself to his lady, the two might consummate their love secretly, then after a period of courtship marriage could result. Indeed the role of courtly love among the feudal nobility was undeniably influential even through that its ideals ran counter to the Christian ideals of chivalry.

So far, the true meaning of chivalry detailed was all true. The question is whether knights always show courtesy or not. A knight could use his strength and wealth in doing good for those who were weaker and poorer or abuse their power. In reality, a knight did not always live up to these high ideals. Code of honor was applied only to members of his own high rank (sometimes). Knight often acted brutally toward people of lower rank or those whose lands they conquered and plundered. Chivalry in the later Medieval period did become a game for the ruling class.

In the beginning, chivalry had been a code of behavior, which a knight had to live by. Knights were men on horses who had spent much of their time fighting. However, the increasing uses of hired soldiers and the introduction of gunpowder made knight less and less important in society. The role this played on chivalry was strong. It showed how chivalry evolved into a less valuable position and cause the decline also. Knights who fought on horseback with lance became a game. The nobility tried to display their fighting skills by staging elaborate tournaments. In the beginning, tournaments have served as war games that had keep knights at their peak of fighting efficiency. In the later medieval period however, there were often little differences between the games and reality of war.

There were large bands of knights that engaged in bloody mock battles destroying many acres of good farmlands. Many knights were left wounded and dead. Later tournaments became less of a preparation for war than an elaborate pageant. In these elaborate tournaments, nobles worked desperately to impress one another. They amused by the decline of Western Europe. After, the European economy had begun to decline, an in 1247 the bubonic plague, which had appeared frequently in the 14th and 15th century, recurred. The plague had killed a large population. This helped to bring about disintegration of the feudal order.

In the end it can be agree that chivalry did exist. There was a process that a person passed through in order to become a knight. The life of a page and a squire was both difficult and grueling, although the life of a squire was not that bad. Courtly of love was one of the major influences of chivalry and even up to today existed in the role of men and women, when it comes to relationship. In the end chivalry was no longer a code of behavior but rather a game that ruling class played. However id did exist, we were able to look back upon it and learn, ponder, be objective and say that the life of a knight was all about the man in the shining armor.
Return to