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...