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Le Morte d'Arthur - The Chivalric Code

Uploaded by mamabear on Dec 19, 2001

An act of chivalry is described as the qualifications or character of the ideal knight. Knights were expected to uphold this code of conduct. In the English literature Le Morte d'Arthur, French for 'The Death of Arthur', by Sir Thomas Malory, the characters display acts of chivalry from beginning to end. Though the code of chivalry contains many qualities or acts, nevertheless bravery, loyalty, and courtly love are demonstrated more throughout this literature.

Bravery is the mental or moral strength to venture and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Fear is what one feels when fighting, knowing that he or she could die. For example, when Sir Mordred and King Arthur were to fight, Arthur was told that if he fought Mordred, Arthur would die. Regardless, Arthur fought Mordred. Though not stated in the text, one would assume that Arthur had fear of himself dying running through his brain, and that would explain how his adrenaline got pumped up enough to kill Mordred. Difficulty is going against someone who is more skilled. When the young Sir Gryfflette challenged King Pellinore to a joust to avenge a knight's death, Gryfflette lost, but because he went up against a more experienced person, he was demonstrating an act of bravery. The danger of the two is that one can always die in matters such as those.

Bravery and loyalty can go hand-in-hand with one another. Loyalty is being faithful to a cause, ideal or custom, and because of that, Sir Lancelot often displayed the acts of loyalty and bravery. In Book XVIII (Eighteen), Chapter VII (Seven), Sir Mador kidnapped Queen Guinevere. Lancelot knew that Mador was a strong knight, but because he was loyal to Guinevere and Arthur, he fought Mador. Another case of loyalty mixed with a touch of bravery is when Arthur's knights fought to their death to save Arthur from Mordred.

Loyalty can also come without fight or bravery. When Arthur went to the lake to seek the sword Excalibur, he swore to grant Avalon's Lady whatever gift she someday desired. Also, Merlin was known for telling Arthur about the future and what could happen if Arthur did not listen to him, and because of that, Arthur was loyal enough to Merlin to follow his wishes. Aside from being told what to do and what not to do, when Arthur was wounded and in the process of dying, Sir Lucan and Sir Bedivere were...

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Uploaded by:   mamabear

Date:   12/19/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (801 words)

Views:   6889

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