April 27, 2015
ENGL 2341 1001
The story The Knight’s Tale tells of two brothers, Palamon and Arcite, who fall in love with the same woman. The movie A Knights Tale released in 2001 is about a peasant-born man, William Thather who went on an expedition to become a knight and joined tournament jousting; something he is determined to win in and become prodigious legend. Throughout his journey, Thather wins the heart of a beautiful woman named Jocelyn.
These stories both share a few common themes. The first theme that I noticed was courtly love. During the medieval times, courtly love was common among knights. This was basically the rule of the knight and his woman. Like the movie, the woman in The Knights Tale was portrayed to be perfect in all aspects. She stood out among all other women; she was placed on a platform and was worshipped by the knight. Emily was simply an adored princess and noblewoman cherished by Palamon and Arcite whom they described her to be a “fresh beautee” and “wher she be woman or goddesse”. These strikingly beautiful women are both pursued by two men (Palamon and Arcite in the story and William Thather and Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein in the movie). Unlike the story, however, William and Sir Ulrich are not knight brothers. As a matter of fact, both of the men were hostile toward each other since they encountered each other. In the story, The Knights Tale, Palamon and Arcite are sworn as knights and brothers, who pledge to do anything to protect each other. Another theme the movie and the story both share is chivalry. This was also a rule followed by knights that dictated duties and behaviors they should follow. The movie “A Knights Tale” displayed this theme throughout the story. After William’s Lord, Sir Ector died from jousting by taking too many hits to the head, he still remained loyal to him. William convinced his serfs Roland and Wat to win more money by joining a bigger tournament even though they did not want him to joust anymore.
William Thather shows that a man is fated to have a particular end. Even though he was a peasant and his Lord had died right before winning the joust tournament, William did not allow that to be the end of his life. William was able to influence his friends to join him by remaining hopeful about winning the bigger tournament in Rouen, Normandy. Along his voyage, William, Roland and Wat met Geoffrey Chaucer, who, by coincidence, had a way with words. Chaucer was exactly who William needed in order to participate in the joust tournament. Palamon and Acite are thrown in Theseus’ tower next to his garden without ransom. Sometime in May, Emily began gathering flowers in that same garden. Palamon saw Emily and quickly fell in love with her. Hearing this, Acite sees Emily and falls in love with her as well. Ironically, Acite’s fate changed and he is released from jail through a mutual friend with Theseus. Unluckily, Acite has to leave the city and never come back. They both believe that the grass is greener on the other side because Acite thinks Palamon can see Emily when he wants, but Palamon thinks Acite is constructing an army to win Emily. Acite showed his free will by disregarding the threat of not returning to Athens by disguising himself as a servant so he can see Emily once again. Palamon breaks out of jail and hides in a grove of trees. Fate catches up to them once Acite happens to be walking by the same grove of trees. After Palamon hears Acite talking about his love for Emily, they both agree to dual for Emily once and for all.
I strongly believe a man can change his stars. Just because you have an affiliation with someone, it does not mean you are entitled to the same destiny. William was born into a poor family, but with the little money he won at his town’s tournament, he became a very noble and respected knight. William overcomes many challenges. His armor was...
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