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Arthurian romances again

Arthurian Romances

The Middle Ages of Europe were governed by a system which is referred to

as feudalist. The people of this system flow together well; society in these

times require noble people to set the example for the younger. The ranks of the

noble include counts, lords, knights, kings,queens,etc. These noblemen can be

compared to as dueling politicians; they watch over their communities, keeping

everything orderly, and they fend off any attackers trying to besiege land. The

peace keeper of the society is the knight. The knight has been appointed the

position of knight by a king because his traits and characteristic best fit the

standards of a good warrior and protector of the civilization. A knight is

truthful, honest, capable, educated, physically fit, noble, sincere, and

subservient to the king.

In "Arthurian Romances" the knight has a duty to protect his country.

When he approaches a situation he does not attack the other party until he has

warned them. His place in the feudalist system involves other workers (vassals)

to do his bidding. They suit him up in his armor and ready his horse and

weapons. The knight in the first story is named Erec, son of the King Lac. He

marries a girl named Enide, who is at his side throughout the story. Together

they adventure through the countryside and Erec fights his battles as they go on.

The knight will give up on nothing ever, it is his duty to serve his King and

God to the best of his ability. "Sire, I have no wound from which I am

suffering so much that I want to interrupt my journey. No one could detain me;

tomorrow- I shall tarry no more- I want to leave in the morning, when I see the

day is dawning." (1) He is extremely fair when dealing with other knights, that

is he doesn't take cheap shots or kill the other off; he is polite and courteous.

To his wife he has total respect and love to give, but he isn't hesitant when

telling her to stay put. The story puts the knight in a high class because he

is extremely helpful to the community.

(1) Chretien De Troyes, Arthurian Romances, Trans. William W. Kibler

(New York: Penguin Books, 1991) p. 89

The knight prays constantly to his God for protection. He fights others

in battles with an extremely high risk of death, so he likes to profess a faith.

Erec of Lac is honored by his community of Christians for his heroics and

courage. His faith is necessary to keep his beautiful wife. They use religion

to establish trust in their relationship to ensure happiness together.

Knighthood is only developed for the man because women are only seen as

maid servants. Authority feel that a woman cannot possess all the qualities of

a knight so they put them to work as maids. The only women who have high ranks

in the feudalist system are those who are married to the noble ranks. Otherwise,

women will marry into poverty where they will remain for the rest of their time.

In the "Story of the Grail," Chretien De Troyes takes knighthood from a

beginning perspective of a young boy. Perceval is a young boy with a dream of

becoming a knight. In his own way he becomes one. He learns the techniques and

attitudes of a knight greatly influence his performance. Perceval wants to

obtain all the qualities of a good knight, also known as chivalry. "Perceval,

the story relates, had lost his memory so totally that he no longer remembered

God. April and May passed five times- that was five full years- without his

having entered a church or adored God or His Cross. Five years he remained like

this, yet inspite of everything he never ceased to pursue deeds of chivalry: he

sought out the most difficult, treacherous and unusual adventures, and found

enough to test his valour, never undertaking any venture that he was unable to

accomplish." (2) The knight had a good heart because of his religion and that

was what kept Perceval going.

These stories illuminate the noble of authority as strong, as well as

responsible and faithful to his God and his King. Knights were the figures that

helped a community stay safe and strong. Through the feudalist system they

stayed the leaders and the people who lived by learning. They had little

aristocracy in their blood and more in the fight for justice. The knights

played an important role in determining right from wrong.

(2) Ibid p.457

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