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Why Was Chaucer’s Knight an Example of Chivalry?

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In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Knight is chivalrous because he follows the chivalric code. This means that he respects honor and truth, and he chooses humility over vanity.

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The Knight is the main character of the first tale in Canterbury Tales. The author describes the protagonist as a “reputable man” who is courteous, honored by others for his achievements, and loyal to the king. Other characters think of the Knight as a trustworthy and respectable man. But then, Chaucer talks about the Knight’s appearance – his clothes are plain, and the man has simple manners.

The characteristics that Geoffery Chaucer assigns to the Knight are all elements of the code of chivalry. This code is often viewed as synonymous with a knighthood, and it lists traits that are also known as knightly virtues. For example, such moral principles as honor and loyalty are a part of this medieval world. A knight also should be generous and wise, offering help to those who need it. At the same time, a knight should not think that he is better than others, preserving humility and piety in his heart.

By now, you should see that the nature of chivalry that lies at the center of the code has two sides. The Knight is “the most distinguished man” who is known by many as a great person and a valiant hero. But he is also hard-working, modest, and generous. The Knight does not boast about his achievements or demand praise. So, through his poetry, Chaucer described an ideal example of knightly virtues.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Why Was Chaucer’s Knight an Example of Chivalry?" November 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/why-was-chaucers-knight-an-example-of-chivalry/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Why Was Chaucer’s Knight an Example of Chivalry'. 23 November.

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