A true knight, Arcite will not stoop to win the hand of Emily by taking advantage of the weakness of his opponent and wants a just, honorable test of arms. This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at. If an opponent was overcome, he was to leave the battle. It was nicely written and all but it's really just a list of characters with their descriptions, so when I finished it I decided to move onto the first story, 'The Knight's Tale'. Theseus maintains that, since every man must die when his time comes, that it is best to die with a good name and reputation, on good terms with his friends, and having died with honour. He proposes that they meet again in the grove the next day in fair combat with both knights having the same advantage and identical weapons.
Creon, the lord of Thebes, has dishonored them by refusing to bury or cremate their bodies. Palamon prays to Venus to grant him Emily, while Arcite asks Mars for victory in the joust. The Story Theseus, king of Athens, marries Hippolyta, an Amazon lady he has defeated in battle. Chaucer's Knyght quoth a tale, of muche chivalrae, woe and luv true. What the purpose of the speech is, however, has been assessed variously. By chance or design, he draws the lot to tell the first story, and does so graciously. Theseus condemns them to perpetual imprisonment.
Palamon overhears him and discloses his real identity. By chance or design, he draws the lot to tell the first story, and does so graciously. Arcite moans and groans and feels sorry for himself, convinced that Palamon is better off than him because he gets to see Emily every day. The Knight's Tale is Greek! It must be that the Creator is perfect, but what has descended downward in nature is corruptible, and endures only by one thing succeeding another. 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. We are told that he has taken part in some fifteen in many countries and also fought for one pagan leader against another.
Arcite wins the battle, but then his horse throws him and his chest is crushed. Here, though, the gods are firmly in the story, shaping events and being prayed to and so on, which was kind of weird to adjust to. Characters, in fact, exist only to be moved by the events of the story: to be imprisoned and set free whenever the plot demands, or to fall in love at first sight when it is dramatically convenient. Emily prays to Diana, asking not to be forced to marry either man. Moreover, the tale is deeply improbable in all sorts of ways, and the situation and the moral questions it poses seem more important than the qualities of the individual characters.
However, she acknowledges her role as a pawn in the situation, and accepts the destiny proscribed to her by the goddess Diana and the mortal king Theseus even at the end, married off by Theseus, she receives the husband she explicitly does not desire. The lovers go without sleep because they are tormented by their love, and for many years they pine away hopelessly for an unattainable woman. In his chivalry to defend the suffering women and honor their just cause, Theseus fearlessly goes to war again and demonstrates the fortitude of the honorable knight in battle who fights for a moral cause, not for vainglory or revenge. Red was his sword, and shield, and whole attire, And all the godhead seemed to glow with fire; Even the ground glittered where the standard flew, And the green grass was dyed to sanguine hue. After a year has passed, Palamon and Arcite return to Athens, where everybody is ready to watch the competition and party. Both live in the prison tower for several years. I, wretched I, have other fortune seen, The wife of Capaneus, and once a Queen; At Thebes he fell; cursed be the fatal day! A magnanimous man, then, never stoops to petty vengeance or lets small-minded meanness conquered his large soul and noble mind.
The winner will get Emily. But Creon, old and impious, who commands The Theban city, and usurps the lands, Denies the rites of funeral fires to those Whose breathless bodies yet he calls his foes. The two former friends engage in deadly battle. Been there, done that -- Ed. Theseus agrees and beats Creon. The emphasis in the story is upon rules of honor and proper conduct. At the same time, and in the same place, Theseus, Hippolyta and Emelye were out hunting, and, reaching the area where Arcite and Palamon were fighting, Theseus stopped the battle.
The Knight describes her as a typical fairy-tale maiden though there is an interesting inversion of the usual formula in that her suitors, not her, are the ones imprisoned in a tower. The two knights pray to Venus for a literal deus ex machine, for they are unable to control their own fate. Waith, Oxford, 1989 , and he drew on the Knight's Tale for his Theseus and Hippolyta in A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Palamon, however, envied Arcite, since he did now have the option of raising an army against Theseus to conquer Athens. Other highlights are two really great monologues that are in the second half of the story. One morning several years later, Palamon sees the beautiful Emilie wandering about in her garden and cries out in pain.
All day he marched, and all the ensuing night, And saw the city with returning light. Palamon told Theseus that Arcite is the man who was banished and that he has returned, disguised as Philostratus , while he himself is the escaped prisoner. Since this is Chaucer's first and longest Tale - he never completed Canterbury Tales - perhaps he misappropriated too much time on this one? Each man is given a premonition that his wish will be granted. They show the ideal knight's relationship with women. Arcite worked as a page in Emelye's house and was so well loved that Theseus soon made him squire of his chamber. After spending two years in Thebes, one night Arcite dreamt that he saw the god Mercury standing before him, bidding him to be free of hope and care, and telling him to go to Athens to relieve his grief.