An Analysis on the Knight's Tale (Canterbury Tales)

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  • Topic: Deus ex machina, Kill, The Knight's Tale
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  • Published : September 16, 2012
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ARJONA, Zeus David V.BSED EnglishEnglish and American Literature CATUD, Wilfred Glenn T.

The Knight’s Tale: an Analysis

This tale, consisting of four parts, tells the story of two knights named Arcite and Palamon who put their lives on the line for the hand of the lady they both love, Emelye.

This tale displays the importance of chivalry in knighthood. Chivalry was shown in the story through the deeds of the Greek knight Theseus. Theseus displayed virtuosity throughout the story. An example of this is the time where he saw the wounded Arcite and Palamon, who are Theban soldiers. Instead of killing the two, being soldiers belonging to an enemy, he decided to spare their lives, but in one condition: they were to be imprisoned for life on a tower.

There are some instances that someone also affected another one’s fate. In one example, Perotheus, who is a close friend of Palamon and Arcite, waged for the freedom of the latter. Because of this, Arcite was freed. Another is where Theseus attempted to kill Palamon and Arcite. He never got to do the deed because the court women wanted their lives be spared. If Theseus got to kill the two, they could have not ended up dueling for Emelye’s hand.

The two prisoners from Thebes demonstrated their love to Emelye and each of them wanted to have the lady they both love as their wife, displaying loyalty as they profess their love to the woman. Although they are cousins, they became rivals, and their rivalry made them think without reason. Their emotion got the better of them and made them kill each other to see who deserves the hand of Emelye in marriage. They bludgeouned each other until they were seen by Theseus, who wanted them to be killed because of their act. But, because of his gallantry, as suggested by the court women, the two were made to duel along with a hundred finest soldiers of their choice.

The concept of “Wheel of Fortune” was redundantly presented throughout the tale. It is told that...
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