The Knight's Tale is the first tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The Knight is Two cousins and knights, Palamon and Arcite, are captured and imprisoned by . – Published by: Penn State University Press; ^ The Relationship of Theseus' Boethian Speech to the Remainder of "The Knight's Tale". 'The Knight's Tale' tells of a courtly love triangle between two knights, Arcite and Palamon, both of whom revere Lady Emily, the sister of Queen Hippolyta. and find homework help for other The Canterbury Tales questions at eNotes. and differences in the themes of the knight's tale and the miller's tale in relation to love? Whereas the subject of The Knight's Tale is Palamon and Arcite's courtly .
Rock enumerates a number of studies concerning the issue and ob- serves that most scholars were puzzled by the outcome of the story — Amis also apprehends the consequences of being forsworn, since when he recounts his story to Amiloun and asks him to change places with him, he cries out: Still, he starts an affair with the daughter of the duke and thus brings dishonour to his lord.
It is true that the girl blackmails him and threatens him with accusing him of rape, but it would have been only knightly to face the false charge and its aftermath even death rather than defame his duke.
We are informed by the gravity of his sin and whether it can be considered as forswearing by the steward: Here the steward calls Amis a thief and a traitor, who committed treason against his lord.
In his outrage he decides that if Amis is guilty of the charge, he deserves death: They in- corporated customary norms and mores into their thought.
The Knight's Tale
They drew upon Roman law and earlier canon law in their work. Although Amis sinned and not only in this particular case — he and Amiloun deliberately deluded everyone in their environment by their change of places, and thus killed the steward unjustlyhe is for- given after paying the penalty: William had troubled relationships with his vassals.
In his reply ca. The influence of his work is evinced by the fact that his glosses appear in several manuscripts of the Decretum. Furthermore, later glossators also quote his ideas. See the discussion of the glosses in Weigand.
In my view, here is the Christian element added to the traditional ideal of amicitia perfecta revealed: He sinned against Palamon in not being of his counsel and at his aid, a duty of sworn brothers: Furthermore, as Rock also points out, when Arcite is freed, he does not even attempt to help Palamon: My assumption that in order to understand the outcome of the story one should focus on the violation of sworn brotherhood rather than other transgressions might also be supported by another fact: We are told by the narrator that when one of the friends died, the other sought him out in hell.
Note that the wording is similar to what we find in Amis: Since sworn brotherhood is tradition- ally superior to any other social bonds including family relations, and also the bond that ties one to his lord ,14 we cannot say that it is based on them.
Rather, it seems that most of the time if the brotherhood prevails, the other bonds persist as well. Love is a gretter lawe, by my pan, Than may be yeve of any erthely man. And therfore positif lawe and swich decree Is broken al day for love in ech degree.
A man moot nedes love, maugree his heed, He may nat fleen it, thogh he sholde be deed. Both types of affection are regarded as superior to anything else in the world: Arcite justifies his breaking his oath by saying that love often makes men do so and Amis and Amiloun similarly trans- gress rules in the name of friendship.
On friendship being superior to all, see Cicero: An essential difference is to be noted between the two concepts, though. While imperishable values are severely violated in both cases, the motivation of neglecting these rules is dissimilar: We must not think, however, of the two characters in black-and- white terms. To denounce a fellow knight in such a manner cannot wholeheartedly be regarded as a knightly deed. Thus, he might not have entirely forgotten about their association.
Although the two knights have fallen out, Chaucer seems to allude to their brotherhood here and there deliberately — as if he wanted to remind the audience that the tale told by the knight is in fact a story of friendship, and this story is governed by the traditional rules of friendship.
For many the decision of the two knights to fight until death might mean that in the contest between romantic love and sworn brotherhood the first surpasses the latter. Still, I see the complete victory of friendship in the outcome of the story. Arcite does not lose Emelye but gives her up in favour of Palamon — although he evidently does not have a chance to live with Emelye happily ever after, since he is dying, he might as well wish that Palamon should not get her either.
Moreover, he not only recommends Emelye to marry Palamon but also extols the virtues of his deadliest enemy that make him worthy of Emelye. At the end of the story it seems that the role of Emelye changes. In the course of the story she gives the impression of being an excep- tion among the women appearing in romances in that she does not think of herself as a helpless object of male love.
At the end of the story, however, all her independence is taken: Farvolden puts it succinctly: As in Amis and Amiloun, the woman in the Fabula functions primarily as an opportunity to showcase the calm, rational power of male friendship. She exists as a faceless token of exchange between men. This, however, is a statement with which I do not entirely agree. Keeping in mind the principle that a friendship cannot ever have been true if it fails, I would rather say that it is established beside the death bed of Arcite — till then it has only been a fake one, an illusion.
Who hath thee doon offence?
When Amiloun, for example, seeks his friend out after hav- ing a distressing dream of him, he finds Amis in the woods and asks: The imprisoned Palamon wakes early one morning in May and catches sight of Princess Emily Emelyewho is Theseus's sister-in-lawdown in the courtyard picking flowers for a garland. He instantly falls in love with her; his moan is heard by Arcite, who then also wakes and sees Emily.
The Knight's Tale - Wikipedia
He falls in love with her as well. This angers Palamon, who believes that he claimed her first. Arcite argues that he has the right to love Emily as well. The friendship between Palamon and Arcite quickly deteriorates over their competition for Emily's love. After some years, Arcite is released from prison through the good offices of Perotheus, a mutual friend of Theseus's and Arcite's, amending Arcite's sentence down from imprisonment to exile ; but Arcite then later secretly returns to Athens in disguise and enters service in Emily's household, to get close to her.
Palamon eventually escapes by drugging the jailer, and, while hiding in a grove, overhears Arcite singing about love and fortune. They begin to duel with each other over who should get Emily, but are thwarted by the arrival of Theseus.
Theseus originally plans to sentence the two to death, but upon the protests of his wife and Emily, he decides to have them compete in a tournament instead. Palamon and Arcite are to gather men apiece and to fight a mass judicial tournamentthe winner of which is to marry Emily. The forces are assembled. On the night before the tournament, Palamon prays to Venus to make Emily his wife; Emily prays to Diana to remain unmarried, or else to marry the one who truly loves her; and Arcite prays to Mars for victory.
Theseus lays down rules for the tournament so that if any man becomes seriously injured, he must be dragged out of the battle and is no longer in combat. Because of this, the story seems to claim at the end that there were almost no deaths on either side.
Although both Palamon and Arcite fight valiantly, Palamon is wounded by a chance sword thrust from one of Arcite's men, and is unhorsed. Theseus declares the fight to be over. Arcite wins the battle, but following a divine intervention by Saturnhe is mortally wounded by his horse throwing him off and then falling on him before he can claim Emily as his prize.