The Canterbury Tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer around 1386, is a
collection of tale told by pilgrims on a religious pilgrimage. Three of these
tales; "The Knight's Tale", "The Wife of Bath's Tale", and "The Franklin's Tale",
involve different kinds of love and different love relationships. Some of the
loves are based on nobility, some are forced and some are based on mutual
respect for each partner. My idea of love is one that combines aspects from each
of the tales told in The Canterbury Tales.
In "The Knights Tale", the love between the two knights and Emily is
intensely powerful. The love that Palomon and Arcite feel towards Emily is so
strong that the two knights feel that it is worth more than life. At one point
Palomon says to Arcite, " Though I have no weapon here . . . either you shall
die or you shall not love Emily." The love that Palomon feels for Emily is so
overwhelming that he is willing to take on an armed man, in mortal combat, just
for the love of a woman. Perhaps he feels that without her he will surely die,
so why not die trying to win her.
The ironic fact about the relationship between the two knights and Emily
is that Emily does not wish to marry either of the knights. she expresses this
in a prayer to Diana, the goddess of chaste, " Well you know that I desire to be
a maiden all my life; I never want to be either a beloved or a wife." This is so
ironic because Arcite and Palomon are about to kill each other for her love and
she doesn't want to beloved by either of them. She enjoys the thrills of maiden
hood too much to have them ended by marriage.
While all this is going on, no one stops to think that neither Arcite
nor Palomon has ever even spoken to Emily. When Palomon and Arcite are in jail
Palomon says, " The Beauty of the lady whom I see wandering yonder in the garden
is the cause of all my cries and woes." This is not something That I would want
to base my ideal love on. These two knights... [continues]
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(1999, 10). The Canterbury Tales: the Perfect Love. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Canterbury-Tales-Perfect-Love-3093.html
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"The Canterbury Tales: the Perfect Love." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Canterbury-Tales-Perfect-Love-3093.html.