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Chivalric Code Of Honor In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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Chivalry died in the Middle Ages, but there is no complete answer to the reason for that death. Some knights held on to the characteristics of chivalry, but others began to lose their honor and become less loyal. Geoffrey Chaucer, a writer from the fourteenth century, wrote a framed story called The Canterbury Tales. This work is made up of a General Prologue, which is a description of all the individual pilgrims going on the pilgrimage, followed by several tales told by these pilgrims. He describes several knight’s in this work through a chivalric code of honor.
Through his description of the Knight in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, as well as the “Knight’s Tale” and the “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” Chaucer suggests that although chivalry …show more content…
Chaucer writes, “He often sat at table in the chair / of honor, above all nations”(GP 52-53). In other words, having a spot at the table means one has power. He powers through the dark times of war and fights with great honor: “Ridden into battle, no man more, / as well in Christian as in heathen places” (GP 48-49). Therefore, he had been in many battles, but war experience does not faze the Knight through rough times: “In fifteen mortal battles he had been / and jousted for our faith” (GP 64-65). Additionally, the Knight also fights for his faith or religion. The Knight shows many ways of chivalry, for “from the day on which he first began / to ride abroad [he] had followed chivalry, / Truth, honor, generousness and courtesy” (GP 44-46). Therefore, having chivalry meant having great honor and generosity. For example,“Chaucer’s Knight, the first pilgrim described, the first pilgrim to tell a tale, and the overall most gentle and respected of the Canterbury pilgrims, is an English fourteenth-century version of a very long and complex military profession that we refer to as knighthood”

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