chivalry was perhaps the most recognized quality of a true gentleman. This
quality is explored in Chaucer's two characters of the warrior class, the
Knight and the Squire. The squire is the son of the Knight; both ride
gallantly and have the air of true gentleman warriors. However, the two are
very dissimilar despite their appearances. The Knight possesses the true
qualities of chivalry, devotion to service, constancy in humility, and
honesty. The Squire possesses none of these qualities truly; instead his
demeanor is one that is less honorable and virtuous. Although both claim
the same vocation, the Squire and the Knight display contradicting attitudes
in respect to dedication, material possessions, and sincerity.
The main point in the description of the Knight was the abundance and
importance of his battles, while it was the least mentioned aspect in the
Squire. The entirety of the Squire's military experience is named in two
lines, "he had seen some service with the cavalry/ If Flanders and Artois
and Picardy," perchance a direct consequence of the Squire's youth (5). The
list of the Knight's battles clearly dominates the text of his description,
running many lines. He had embarked ".along the Mediterranean coast" to
such places as Alexandria, Lithuania, Russia, Granada, Algeciras, North
Africa, Benamarin, Anatolia, Ayas, and Attalia (4). Not only were the
battles of the knight more numerous, they were more extensive and required
lengthy travels to far-away lands. The Squire had "done valiantly in little
space" in these battles, but had not distinguished himself from his peers.
This is implied when it is said that he had only seen "some service with the
The Squire had pursued no noteworthy errands in the interest of chivalry
like his father. The "distinguished knight", on the other hand, was very
chivalrous because of his unconditional... [continues]
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(1999, 10). A Comparison of the Knight and the Squire in Chaucer's the Canterbury. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/a-Comparison-Of-The-Knight-And-19094.html
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