The two characters I have chosen from The Canterbury Tales are The Knight and the Squire, who share a father and son relation. These characters set out on a religious pilgrimage to a cathedral in Canterbury. The Squire, opposed to the Knight, goes for a vacation instead of religious purposes like the Knight. Though the Knight and the Squire are from the same feudal class and vocation, they differ in the fact that the Knight represents how society should have been; and the Squire depicts an accurate portrayal of how it actually was.
Chivalry, heroism, and modesty describe the Knight, whose standards and principles are that of a true gentleman; these characteristics are not seen in the Squire. Even though the Knight has won many wars, he is careful not to brag about his stories. The most obvious point in the description of the Knight is the abundance and importance of his conquests; however, the Squire's battles are barely mentioned. While the Squire's battles are summed up in two lines, while there is a long list of the Knight's battles.
Regarding the appearance, the Knight chose to wear a plain armor and tunic while the Squire dresses in excesses. The Squire is very vain, trying to better his image at any cost, his hair has "locks as curly as if they had been pressed". His actions are not necessary and are not chivalrous and is unnecessary for his knighthood. The Knight, is by far the most chivalrous and heroic. Despite the fact that the Knight and Squire are in the same class and share the same occupation, the Knight represents what a true Knight should be and how he should act. The Squire on the other hand shows how the society really is. The Knight is honorable, honest and practices chivalry. The Squire basically shows off and is almost the opposite of the Knight.
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