The Knight's Tale, the story of two knights that fight for the love of a woman they do not know, and The Miller's Tales, the story of three men trying to win the heart of one woman, are two tales that share similar story lines and themes that include courtly love and chivalry. The themes in the two tales at times seem to be very satirical throughout the stories, especially The Miller's Tale; however, the presentations of the satirical themes in each story have a different approach from one another, where as some events or scenes in the tales seem to be more comical or serious from one another.
In The Knight's Tale, the theme of courtly love between the characters is continuous through out the entire story. For example, near the opening of the tale, the main characters Palamon and Arcite, two knights (also cousins) turned prisoners from Thebes, see a beautiful woman outside their prison cell window named Emily. They immediately fall head over heels in love with Emily, because of her striking beauty, which Arcite exclaims, "
strikes me dead
unless at least I see her day by day, I am but dead" (Chaucer 49); nevertheless, they follow the traditional rules of courtly love and chivalry, and plan to battle one another to determine who wins her hand in marriage. Before battling one another, Palamon prays to Venus that he may have Emily's heart, "
I care not how, whether it be by my defeat of them, or theirs of mine, so that I have my lady in my arms
I will worship thy shrine for ever" (Chaucer 79). Arcite prays also, however he pray to Mars asking for victory in the battle, "
The help me, Lord, tomorrow, in the fight, not only for the flames that burnt in thee but for the fire that now is burning me, Grant me victory tomorrow to my sword!" (Chaucer 83); nevertheless, both Palamon and Arcite receive promising replies from the gods. Emily on the other hand says a prayer to Diana, but instead of asking for love or victory, she asks that she keep her virginity, but Diana...
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