The knight’s Tale, A Romance by Geoffrey Chaucer


Published on

This is a literary analysis of one of Geoffrey Chacuer's Canterbury Tales called "The Knight's Tale"

Published in: Education, News & Politics
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The knight’s Tale, A Romance by Geoffrey Chaucer

  1. 1. The Knight’s Tale By Geoffrey Chaucer Romance Writer Analysis By Melvin A Jovel
  2. 2. Quick Recap of Story- The knights are Jailed The story of “The Knight’s tale” is about two cousins who, had they not been found by the pillagers they would of died of there wounds from the battle that had just been lost by Creon King of Thebes. After being found they were both carried to Theseus by which he immediately had them sent to Athens and thrown in prison because he knew they were of Royal Blood. In Prison, Arcite and Palomon would spend years behind bars and saw no hope of getting out until one day Palomon as he was looking out the window he saw a beautiful goddess like woman, for which he immediately fell in love with her.
  3. 3. The beautiful Emily Emily was sister-in-law of Theseus and she would from time to time go and wander in the garden where Palomon and Arcite could see from their prison cells. Palomon was the first to declare his love for her and Arcite too said he loved her, but Palomon was angry and said “Thus you are pledged to be my trusty friend, and now you would falsely be about loving my lady, whom I love and serve and ever shall until my heart may die.” (1143-1146). Both cousins knew that this love was going to destroy them and cause a strong hate between the two.
  4. 4. The battle that decides the destiny of the Knights Theseus finds Palomon and Arcite battling it out one day and sees the reason is because of Emily. Theseus sets up a tournament where Palomon and Arcite will battle it out to the death and the one still alive will win Emily’s love. In the end Arcite ends up winning, but ends up getting badly wounded and tells Theseus that it must be Palomon who should take Emily’s hand. Palomon and Emily end up together and lived a long, joyful marriage.
  5. 5. Chaucer as a Romance Writer Geoffrey Chaucer used several poetic diction in “The Knight’s Tale” which derived from the English Romance tradition. “he authors and singers of the English metrical romances can share with Chaucer the accomplishment of having evolved a poetic language which was capable of bearing the artistic loads which the following centuries would place on it” (Haymes, 42). Chaucer used different formulas when ending lines, “"Great joy and bliss" is a good example of for- mulas used to end lines. It provides a good rhyme for "kiss" and is thus very useful in many narrative situations” (Haymes, 41).
  6. 6. Romance Writer Continued… • In “The Knight’s Tale” he uses several phrases and words that describe Romance and love. • “The fair beauty of her who roams in yonder spot suddenly slays me, and if I will not have her pity and her grace, at least to see her, I am dead; there is no more to say.” (Chaucer, 1119-1122). • “And at that word Arcite started up. “Now truly,” he said, “howsoever I pay for it, I will go straightway to Athens. Not for the fear of death will I fail to see my lady whom I love and serve. If I behold her once, I do not care if I should die!” (Chaucer 1394-1398). • Chaucer as a Romance writer included adventure in his stories in order for it to have a greater meaning and a greater audience. “The demand for adventure, characteristic of medieval as it still is of modern audiences, was associated with romance in particular as the most popular secular form of literature in the Middle Ages.” (Wadiak, 160).
  7. 7. Romance Writer Continued… • An important part of the story about these two knights is the Oath they made when becoming Knights, but it is quickly broken when they fall in love with Emily. • “Chaucer writes of such bonds elsewhere in the Canterbury Tales, where they are crucial factors in the stories. The narrator Knight does not dwell on this oath: after the breaking of the oath, Palamon mentions it only once again, in the grove” (Rock, 417). • Chaucer does not want the focus to be on this oath as towards the end of the story Arcite mentions to Emily, “that by your grace you shall have pity on noble Palamon, your own knight, who serves you with will, heart, and strength, and always has since first you knew him, and that you shall take him for your lord and husband.” (Chaucer, lines 3077-3081)
  8. 8. Chaucer’s Romance Structure During the Medieval period, Romance had a three-part structure. The first was Integration which involved a social unity such as family, the second was disintegration where this unity is interrupted by an issue and put to the test, the third and final piece is the reintegration where the test are successfully accomplished resulting in what we know as “The Happy Ending”.
  9. 9. Romance Structure in “The Knight’s Tale” • The way Chaucer structures the story is similar to medieval romance but gives a background to the story. • Chaucer begins with how Palomon and Arcite were thrown into prison and how they were cousins through their mothers who were sisters. • The conflict between them was they both fell in love with the same woman • Arcite was freed from Jail through a duke, Perotheus who asked Theseus to let him free, which he did, but also banished him from Athens • Arcite grew love sick and returned to Athens to get close to Emily • Theseus finds out by catching Arcite and Palomon fighting and arranged a tournament where both would fight to the death. • The reintegration was Arcite beating Palomon but falls of his horse and practically dying and handing Emily over to Palomon for which they both lived happily ever after
  10. 10. Geoffrey Chaucer- A Romantic Geoffrey Chaucer was a Romantic and he demonstrated that in many of his stories. “The Knight’s tale” was one of them and the structure is different from “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” where Chaucer uses a game on top of the classic Romance Structure. “The Knight’s Tale” was different because it was adventurous like his other stories, but it wasn’t about a man and a woman falling in love like in Shakespeare's plays but instead it was about two great knights who would die for one woman. The diction and tone Chaucer uses in the story helps to portray the strength these two knights have for the love of this woman and both almost end up killing themselves in order to win her over.
  11. 11. References • Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Knights Tale. NeCastro, Gerard, ed. and trans. eChaucer: October 26, 2013 • Haymes, Edward R. “Chaucer and the English Romance Tradition” South Atlantic Bulletin 37.4 (1972): 35-43 South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Web. 17 Oct. 2013 • Rock, Catherine A. "Forsworn And Fordone: Arcite As Oath-Breaker In The "Knight's Tale.." Chaucer Review 40.4 (2006): 416-432. Web. 17 Oct. 2013 • Wadiak, Walter. "Chaucer's Knight's Tale And The Politics Of Distinction." Philological Quarterly 89.2/3 (2010): 159-184. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.