The medieval age includes the middle ages in the Roman Emperor Constantine’s (REC) conversion to Christianity. The very early years of medieval was commonly known as the Dark ages. The medieval history refers to the history during the 14th and 16th centuries in the European history. This aspect takes into consideration the life during the medieval history that starts from the landless self to the high class and people living in luxury and comfortable life in EuropeLater the Protestants church was launched by Luther. This paper takes a study of the medieval age and the medieval society through an Aristocrat Knight. The paper then studies the life in the medieval after having an elaborate discussion of who Knight was. The paper analyses two works; the medieval castle and the poem of Cid. The analysis of the two works is aimed at giving a comparison or similarities in the genre provided.
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Knight was a type of man fighting during the medieval ages. According to a modern comparison, the medieval Knight can be referred to as a modern tank. This emphasizes its size and its fierceness in war. Knight had a number of layers full of armor and the Knight could easily move through the foot soldiers. This means that during this time, there was no single foot soldier that could dare wage war against a single Knight. In terms of wealth, Knight was considered the wealthiest and richest of all the three soldiers in the medieval time. This emphasizes that it was not easy to be called a Knight during this time. Being part of a knight was considered in the society as a form of feudal agreement whereby in exchange for service in the military, the medieval Knight was given a fief. In later ages, the Knights decided to pay their lords some money called “shield money” so that the lord could give them permission to offer their service to the king’s army. Goodrich (1961) points out that there are three ways of becoming a Knight. The most important way was by being the son of a noble person who was to be trained as a page and then could take his time doing exercises to keep his body strong. This included a thorough preparation by using different weapons e.g. the spear and the sword. A young man could also become a Knight after succeeding in a fierce battle.
Life of Knight in the Medieval Castle
The life system of the medieval castle was under the government of a medieval kind of Feudal system. Power comes from above e.g. from the Lord, they were at the top of the pyramid. In this system, the top powers had lots of comfort in life. Down the pyramid, we had a change in life from the top comfort to a life that had little pleasures or no pleasure at all. However, one’s status was directly dictated by a courtly manner and a courtly love. This was uniformly referred to as the Code of Chivalry. Travelling took the majority of the lifestyle at this stage. Because of the traveling, castle life comprised packing and unpacking and resettling in new and completely different environments.
The famous medieval castle was occupied by only two groups of people. This included the knights and the general servants. For the sustainability of the knights, they had to do all those things that could help them develop their skills in the use of different weapons and other weapons of warfare in the medieval stage. The sons of the nobility with an inclusion of the sons who presided over Holy Orders were to be in the service of the highest Lords that were to be obeyed in the entire land. To the knights, the castle was a school where they could utilize to sharpen their skills.
The Poem of the Cid
It is also called the song of my Lord. It is the oldest Spanish poem during the medieval age. During this generation, poems could be passed down to other generations as they underwent changes. These poems were meant to be performed in public since they had a message to the members of society. A brief illustration of the poem of the Cid is that the poem begins with an illustration of an exile of El Cid who had been accused by his enemies of being a thief. They claimed he had stolen some money that belonged to the King. This forced him to go to exile. He participates in other battles against so many armies including the Moorish army and went ahead to conquer Valencia.
Contributions of the Two Genres to the Values and Ethos of Knight
The two kinds of works give very clear and vivid similarities and differences in the way of life of the Knights. In the life of the medieval castle, we see the compositions of the accommodations used by society and other buildings. The family slept on the upper level and due to the state of the Knights, they are seen as majorly performing guard functions. This is because the knight had to become fit in all manners so that they can be able to use the weapons in cases of war. This would build their attitude and make them be fit for taking their role in medieval society.
Similarly, we see clearly from the Poem of the Cid that enmity is already created especially due to the accusations of the stolen money for the king. More to this, he participates in more battles against the Moorish and fights o the bitter end until he wins the battle. Just like in life in Medieval Castle, the knights are well trained on the skills of war so that they not only lead in the war but also use the weapons of war in conquering their enemies. Even their place in the building and accommodation depicts a clear life they lead since they are not entitled to comfort life but rather must adapt and be skilled in fighting. The tone in the Poem of Cid has a real tone. This is unlike the other medieval grand which is always full of magic and other happenings. It just takes place in a magic way.
The Way of Life of the Knights
The life of the Knights was fully dependant on the role they played in this society. It was the full duty of the medieval knights to do a thorough training on how to fight. This is because they were responsible for the security of society. Their service formed a very big part of their lives. The code of Chivalry makes the knight serve the Lord always in their life. Their service to the lord even dictated their position in the building. Their strategic position shaped their life and mind so that they were ever thinking of war. The knight’s life also comprises the use of weapons. This is because it was through the instruments that they were to be well trained and well equipped to war. They practiced and increased their skills in weapon handling. Two-headed swords were used, the battle-ax, mace, the larger and the smaller gagger and the lance.
The Knights and Chivalry
This was a belief that also took the heart and the lifestyle of the knights. The belief advocated for a promise to defend the weak in the society and the need to be courteous to all women whether young or old in the society. This was aimed at having a lesson to the other members of the society since they observed a lot of loyalty to the Lord and offered service to him at all times. The Knights were expected by the Chivalry to show a very high degree of responsibility as they deal with their colleagues as well as how to deal with others. The Knights had to follow these rules in society. The knight’s way of life was that they were to speak very little since it is through this that they are able to maintain a high degree of obedience. Though it is true that the knights also come from rich families, the majority of the knights did not belong to the firstborn families. They denied that from receiving any form of inheritance in the society.
The Knights were well equipped with different arms that were meant for war. The knight had a major responsibility of making sure that all their weapons were clean and in very good working conditions. Armor was well created to fit the knight and then the knight had to be with it throughout the day. They had to walk around with knives, swords and other important weapons. The systems also allowed for tournaments which were of very good importance. These included audiences and battles where the knights were expected to show their skills since, in the battle, two people would fight. Teamwork was used in the whole process. It was aimed at improving the prowess in the skills of the medieval knights.
In conclusion, the medieval castle and the poem of Cid are very necessary for one to have a very good knowledge of who the knights are the type of worlds where the knights lived and having a good understanding of the values, the ethos and the life of the knights.
Goodrich, N. (1961). The Cid: Medieval Myths. New York: Mentor Books.