Is Chivalry Dead

Topics: Middle Ages, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Knights of the Round Table Pages: 2 (872 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Jaden R.M.

Chivalry is not dead, but perhaps slowly dying off; it has simply evolved and is evolving continuously as time and people do. In Medieval Period, chivalry was a system of ethical ideals lived by daily. The chief chivalric virtues were piety, honor, nobility, valor, courtesy, chastity, and loyalty, and protecting the weak (women). It is apparent in today’s society that the definition and application of chivalry has changed through history. During the middle Ages, chivalry was a code of brave and courteous conduct for knights. According to this system of morals and manners, a knight was to remain faithful to God, loyal to his king, true to his lady-love, and helpful to their less fortunate kinsmen. Chivalry is still alive today but to a lesser extent than in the Middle Ages as shown in the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Morte d’Arthur. Some aspects of chivalry from Arthurian legend still exist today. In the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain was the epitome of chivalry. He always followed the code of chivalry until he reneged on the agreement he had with the lord. When the Green Knight came and proposed the game to all the knights, King Arthur was the first to accept. Sir Gawain exhibits chivalry at first in the story when he implores to play the game proposed by the green knight so that King Arthur would not have to partake in it; this exemplifies: honor, loyalty, and valor. He said “I beseech, before all here, that this melee may be mine”, meaning he asked to risk his life so King Arthur wouldn’t have to. Later in the story he committed his only wrong act by not living up to the code of chivalry when he kept the girdle that he had received from the lady, which he was obligated to return to the lord by the rules of their game. He was so concerned with his own life that he kept the gift regardless of his duty thereby violating the chivalric ode of honor. Gawain has adhered to the code of chivalry since his birth and...
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