The Chivarlric Code Of Le Morte D’ ArthurThe Chivalric Code of Le Morte d’ArthurThroughout the tales of King Arthur, stories of brave knights and noble lordscaptivated the society of the European Middle Ages. These stories gave a criterion forpeople to base there values and way of life on.
During the 1400’s knighthood was comingto an end. Sir Thomas Malory wanted to recapture the lose of chivalry with his tale “LeMorte d’Arthur”. He wished to inspire people to return to the basic ideals of the chivalriccode. Le Morte d’Arthur presents the importance of possessing the characteristics ofhonor, loyalty, and courage. The most important aspect of the chivalric code is honor.
Without honor a man isbelieved to be less of a person during the Middle Ages. If you were to loose your honor,then somehow you, or someone else, must go to any lengths to regain that honor. In LeMorte d’Arthur, a knight is injured mortally and dies. When the squire of the knightpresents himself before King Arthur he tells Arthur, “he had been attacked by KingPellinore at the well, and then begged that he should be buried, and that one of Arthur’sknights should avenge his death. ”(Malory, p. 99) The squire knows that the deceasedknight’s honor must be returned.
A young squire named Gryfflette begs Arthur to makehim a knight so he can avenge the fallen knights honor. Gryfflette’s plea to be a knightgoes to show how important it is that a man’s honor be intact no matter what the cost maybe. In being a chivalric, along with possessing honor, you must also have large ofamounts of courage and bravery. Arthur knows Gryfflette is not ready to become aknight, yet he still allows him to become one because he knows how important it is toreturn honor to his dead comrade. Gryfflette leaves in search of King Pellinore anddisplays great courage by going and facing a much more seasoned knight such as he. “SirGryfflette struck the shield a ringing blow, and it fell to the ground.
”(p. 99) Gryffletteinsults King Pellinore by pulling such a brave act as to knock the King’s shield from a tree. Gryfflette is aware of how experienced King Pellinore is, yet he is still very confident in hiswords. Sir Gryfflette is very sure of himself and repeats why he is there by confidently saying, “I come from the court of King Arthur, and still I mean to joust with you. ”(p. 99) Having a great deal of courage in Le Morte d’Arthur means that you are a strong knightand are worthy of respect and admiration.
The more courage that you possess, the morepeople you have who admire you and who will be loyal to you and your cause. Loyalty is a ever-present aspect of chivalry presented in Le Morte d’Arthur. Loyalty is dispersed throughout the hierarchal feudal system. Along with loyalty there is ashared sense of respect for one another. When Arthur leaves to avenge the loss of honorthat Sir Gryfflette endures at the hand of King Pellinore, Merlin says, “whereas your angerwill certainly not save you from the superior strength of king Pellinore, whom you areabout to challenge.
”(p. 100) Merlin realizes that Arthur has no chance of winning againstKing Pellinore, yet he still stays with Arthur because he knows that he must be loyal toArthur even though Arthur might shame himself and Merlin if he looses the battle. Arthurand Merlin return from Arthur’s journey and “they were questioned eagerly on all that hadhappened; and when the story was told, Arthur’s knights rejoiced in the boldness of theirking. ”(p. 102) King Arthur’s knights are extremely loyal to him by praising him no matterwhat happens on his journey whether he losses or wins.
Loyalty is a very admirablequality and is given much regard in Le Morte d’Arthur The importance of possessing the chivalric characteristics of honor, loyalty, andcourage are presented in Le Morte d’Arthur. Sir Thomas Malory stresses the importanceof chivalric qualities not only as an attempt to regain chilvary in the 1400’s, but also tostress of having those types of qualities that stay the same from generation to generation. In today’s age being loyal to someone is just as important as it was in the Middle Ages. Honor today can be looked at as being proud of something that you have accomplished orthat you have, and courage is always a characteristic that people appreciate and desire nomatter what the time period may be. In writing Le Morte d’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malorynot only wrote a reminder of chivalry for the 1400’s, but he wrote a anthem for theimportance of being chivalrous for generations to come.English Essays