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King Arthur

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Were they noble-minded? Inquiry into the Knighthood of King Arthur and His Knights of the round table


Many people are curious about the legend of King Arthur and His Knight, especially theirs chivalry . As the knights lived in that period ,they stood for a great many outstanding warriors of Arthur’s time. It is said that King Arthur and his knights created a heroic poetry in English history,. With arms in hand, those handsome men made adventures and punished villains. All they had done were according to the chivalry, in other words, the knighthood. But were they wise? Let’s take a deep investigation into King Arthur and His Knights.

[Key Words]

knight, chivalry, knighthood, noble, belief, Camelot, downfall ,jealous ,


(I)When we are thinking of knights, words like humility, honor, sacrifice. valor, compassion rush into our minds. Handsome man with chivalry is the general image of knight. It is considered as a sacred vocation. It stands for light, promise, and chanting of praise. The history of the knight can be traced back to the medieval times, when King Arthur wrote his legend with his round-table knights.

(i)At first let’s learn something about the knight. Like most periods in history, the era of knights evolved gradually. The term "knight" originates from the Anglo-Saxon name for a boy: "cniht". Indeed, most early knights were not much more than hired "boys" who performed military service and took oaths of loyalty to any well-to-do nobleman or warlord offering the most promise of money or war booty. The new knight now served his liege lord (which may or may not be the king himself), bound to offer military service up to 40 days a year in peace time, more, as needed, in war time. Military duties included castle guard, serving in the lord's "bodyguard", and participating in battle. Apart from military duties the knight could also participate in administering justice (as part of assizes--a medieval form of our modern juries), managing his estates (which was his prime source of income), and continuing to hone his combat skills in tournament. Knights’ deed are according to their chivalric code. The word, "chivalry", comes from the French word, "chevalerie", which means "skills to handle a horse". The ability to handle a horse, especially in combat, was of utmost importance to a medieval knight.

As the Medieval Ages progressed, the term "chivalry" began to take on new meanings. The protection of the poor, women and children, and defense of the church were just some of the chivalry codes that a knight was supposed to always obey. In combat when nobles and knights were taken prisoner, their lives were spared and were often held for ransom in somewhat comfortable surroundings. This same code of conduct did not apply to non-knights (archers, peasants, foot-soldiers, etc.), who were often slaughtered after capture.

(ii)When we read the novels about knight ,we are always surprised to find that �chivalry code’ rarely affected most knights, who plundered ,slaughtered, and looted often when give the chance. That disappointed us .The Medieval times’ knight culture were somehow influenced by the pre-generations. Arthur’s court which was set up in 5 AD , in early Medieval Times, was naturally having impact on the following centuries., especially in the knighthood Did they obey the code of chivalry ? whether Athur and his knights were noble-minded or not? Please follow me to unveil the truth through the literatures and history about King Arthur and his knights of round-table.

First of all ,let’s get through the concerned books and find the chivalric code from them. After reading the literature and history about King Arthur and his knight, you may discover the chivalric code can find everywhere through the book of King Arthur an His Knights of his round table. 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 not going to leave Arthur unattended. They carried him to the next town. Also, when Queen Guinevere heard of the death of King Arthur, she ran off to Amesbury and became a nun, where she cursed herself for all her wrongdoing. Despite how it sounds, she expressed loyalty to the death of Arthur, by cleansing her soul so that she may



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