Arthurian RomancesThe Middle Ages of Europe were governed by a system which is referred toas feudalist. The people of this system flow together well; society in thesetimes require noble people to set the example for the younger.
The ranks of thenoble include counts, lords, knights, kings,queens,etc. These noblemen can becompared to as dueling politicians; they watch over their communities, keepingeverything orderly, and they fend off any attackers trying to besiege land. Thepeace keeper of the society is the knight. The knight has been appointed theposition of knight by a king because his traits and characteristic best fit thestandards of a good warrior and protector of the civilization.Order now
A knight istruthful, honest, capable, educated, physically fit, noble, sincere, andsubservient to the king. In Arthurian Romances the knight has a duty to protect his country. When he approaches a situation he does not attack the other party until he haswarned them. His place in the feudalist system involves other workers (vassals)to do his bidding. They suit him up in his armor and ready his horse andweapons.
The knight in the first story is named Erec, son of the King Lac. Hemarries a girl named Enide, who is at his side throughout the story. Togetherthey adventure through the countryside and Erec fights his battles as they go on. The knight will give up on nothing ever, it is his duty to serve his King andGod to the best of his ability. Sire, I have no wound from which I amsuffering so much that I want to interrupt my journey.
No one could detain me;tomorrow- I shall tarry no more- I want to leave in the morning, when I see theday is dawning. (1) He is extremely fair when dealing with other knights, thatis he doesn’t take cheap shots or kill the other off; he is polite and courteous. To his wife he has total respect and love to give, but he isn’t hesitant whentelling her to stay put. The story puts the knight in a high class because heis extremely helpful to the community. (1) Chretien De Troyes, Arthurian Romances, Trans. William W.
Kibler(New York: Penguin Books, 1991) p. 89The knight prays constantly to his God for protection. He fights othersin battles with an extremely high risk of death, so he likes to profess a faith. Erec of Lac is honored by his community of Christians for his heroics andcourage. His faith is necessary to keep his beautiful wife.
They use religionto establish trust in their relationship to ensure happiness together. Knighthood is only developed for the man because women are only seen asmaid servants. Authority feel that a woman cannot possess all the qualities ofa knight so they put them to work as maids. The only women who have high ranksin the feudalist system are those who are married to the noble ranks.
Otherwise,women will marry into poverty where they will remain for the rest of their time. In the Story of the Grail, Chretien De Troyes takes knighthood from abeginning perspective of a young boy. Perceval is a young boy with a dream ofbecoming a knight. In his own way he becomes one.
He learns the techniques andattitudes of a knight greatly influence his performance. Perceval wants toobtain all the qualities of a good knight, also known as chivalry. Perceval,the story relates, had lost his memory so totally that he no longer rememberedGod. April and May passed five times- that was five full years- without hishaving entered a church or adored God or His Cross. Five years he remained likethis, yet inspite of everything he never ceased to pursue deeds of chivalry: hesought out the most difficult, treacherous and unusual adventures, and foundenough to test his valour, never undertaking any venture that he was unable toaccomplish.
(2) The knight had a good heart because of his religion and thatwas what kept Perceval going. These stories illuminate the noble of authority as strong, as well asresponsible and faithful to his God and his King. Knights were the figures thathelped a community stay safe and strong. Through the feudalist system theystayed the leaders and the people who lived by learning. They had littlearistocracy in their blood and more in the fight for justice.The knightsplayed an important role in determining right from wrong.(2) Ibid p.457