Knight of the Cart
“The ideal chivalric knight was brave, loyal, and determined as well as compassionate, just, and helpful to those in distress…The elements of courtly love are humility, courtesy, adultery, and the religion of love…” (Chivalry). Some people believe that Knights cannot follow the Code of Chivalry and the Code of Courtly Love. They believe this because Knights can get so caught up in love, that they will do anything to please their beloved. Knight of the Cart, or otherwise known as Lancelot, is a great example of how the two codes cannot intertwine. Many times throughout Knight of the Cart we see how Lancelot throws away his honor and glory just to save the Queen.
In the Code of Courtly Love it says that a lovers deed is performed with the thought of his beloved. When Lancelot meets the dwarf that had the cart, the dwarf tells Lancelot and Gawain that if they get in his cart he will take them to where the Queen is headed. Lancelot hesitates for a split second but then jumps into the cart, Gawain does not get into the cart because if a knight is seen in a cart it is believed they are unworthy. When Lancelot hesitates before getting in the cart it says that something bad will come of him because he hesitated, when they got to the town, the town’s people made fun of Lancelot because he was in the cart and he didn’t deserve to be a knight. He was breaking part of the Chivalric code because he was not living up to his honor and glory, but he was following the Code of Courtly Love by thinking about Guinevere first, and himself second.
A second way Lancelot is not living up to his honor and glory is when he finds Guinevere’s comb. He gets so carried away with the comb that she is all he can think about. “He appears quite foolish in the amount of honor he gives the comb…” (Models). He is so caught up in with the hair in the comb that he almost falls off of his horse; this is not showing knighthood at all because knights are supposed to be strong...
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