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The Canterbury Tales: Analysis of the Knight

Uploaded by quinonespearl on Feb 15, 2006

The Knyght is the first character of the general prologue in the Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer. As April comes, the narrator begins a pilgrimage to Canterbury from the Tabard Inn at Southwerk. Twenty-nine people make the pilgrimage toward Canterbury and the narrator describes them in turn. Each of these travelers finds themselves in the Tabard Inn, where the Host, suggests that on their way to Canterbury each traveler tell two tales, and on the way back each traveler tell two more. They draw lots to decide who will tell the first tale, and it is the Knight who has the honor. Although the order is supposedly random, the Knight draws the first lot and thus randomly receives the rank appropriate to his status, which indicates that the Host may have fixed the lots in order to curry favor with the Knight.

The pilgrims are listed in relative order of status, thus the first character is the Knight. Chaucer describes the knight as a worthy man who had fought in the Crusades. In the narrators eyes, the Knyght is the noblest of all the pilgrims. The Knyght represents a military estate, loyalty, honor, generosity, and good manners. The Knyght conducts himself in a polite, mild fashion, never saying an unkind word to anyone. The worthiness of the Knyght is clearly admired, “A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man”(line 43); “And evere honored for his worthynesse”(line50); “This ilke worthy knyght hadde been also”(line 64); “And though that he were worthy, he was wys”(line 68). The main qualities of the Knyght was his worthiness, military career, gentility, and his fashion.

At the beginning of the text, the knight is described as chivalric, “To riden out, loved chivalrie(line 45). But at the end of the text, knight’s quality of dress is completely opposite, “Of fustian he wered a gypon”(line75). The Knyght wore a tunic made of coarse cloth. The tunic was stained by (rust from) his coat of mail, which seems as if the Knyghts actions are more important than his looks. His horses were in good condition, “His hors were good, but he was not gay”(line74).

The Knyght was very brave, courteous, and honorable. He was the leader of Christians, Heathens, and Knights. His bravery, won the battle in Alexandria, “At lasiandra he was whan it was wonne” (line 51). He defeated his enemies in Latvia, Prussia, Granada,...

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Uploaded by:   quinonespearl

Date:   02/15/2006

Category:   Cantebury Tales

Length:   3 pages (698 words)

Views:   3210

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