Chivalry In The Middle Ages Essay, Research Paper
Throughout 476 A.D. to 1350 A.D. the Middle Ages reigned. Life was about that one code. The Code of Chivalry. Chivalry, the order of knighthood and especially the code of knightly behavior, was a feature of the High and later Middle Ages in western Europe. In the Middle Ages life was about glory, honor, and those oh so important ten guidelines. Those ten guidelines are: unswerving belief in the church and obedience to her teachings willingly to defend the church, respect, honor and defend the ladies, respect and pity for the weak and steadfastness in defending them, love of country, refusal to retreat before an enemy, unceasing and merciless war against the infidel, strict obedience to the feudal overlord, so long as those duties do not conflict with the duty of God, loyalty to the truth and to the pledged word, generosity in giving, championship of the right and good, in every place and at all times, against the forces of evil. In this essay I will discuss three d!ifferent individual codes throughly. Those codes are: respect, honor, and defend ladies, love of country, and refusal to retreat before an enemy. The code Respect, honor, and defend ladies means much more than it appears to. In the Middle Ages women were regarded as high society. Men were to have treated them with the utmost respect and honor. Most Arthurian Legend had to do with women. One famous one introduces Lancelot, Arthur’s chief knight and his rival for Guinevere’s love. Another poem about Percival is the earliest story of the search for the Holy Grail, which from then on was incorporated into the legend. In the Middle Ages a women was something you did not want to cross. Every which way you were to taught to respect, honor, and most of all defend ladies. The “Love of one’s country” went very far in the Middle Ages. With the blink of an eye a person living in the Middle Ages would go out to fight in honor of their country. On a cold November day in 1095, Pope Urban II mounted a platform outside the church at Clermont, France. His voice shaking with emotion, he addressed the assembled crowd, asking for a volunteer army to take Jerusalem and Palestine from the Seljuks. As you can see people who lived in the Middle Ages had an enormous love for their country, and were willing to sacrifice their life for the love of their country. Also, all throughout the many
wars occurring in the Middle Ages, such as the Hundred Years War, The Four Crusades, The Children’s Crusade, and many other brutal Middle Age wars people went out to die for the love of their country. The refusal to retreat before an enemy, in my opinion, was the basis of the Code of Chivalry. If you look at any Arthurian legend, Middle Age story, or fact you will notice one thing. That thing being, whoever the person may be they never folded to their enemies. For example, William the Duke of Normandy, a cousin of the late English king and vassal of France, had a strong feudal organization in the area of north-western France where Vikings had settled about a century earlier. Gathering a force of several hundred boats and some 6,000 men, he invaded England in 1066. At the Battle of Hastings, William defeated Harold Godwinson, another rival for the throne. The victory won William the English crown and the title William I, as well as the name William the Conqueror. In that example William proved that he would never give in to his enemy. All throughout the Middle Ages knights and other people never died in the arms of their enemies. In every case people in the Middle !Ages stayed loyal to their cause, and never gave up for what they were fighting for.. After exploring a few of the Middle Age Codes of Chivalry you may realize one important association with them. They are all the basis of our society today, just in a different wording. Everything stated in the Code is an old style of our modern society today. Fore example, the code “love of country,” is a simple way of saying “I will serve to defend my country in time of war,” or just simply paying your yearly taxes on April fifteenth. Another example would be that the code respect and pity for the weak and steadfastness in defending them would today mean when you walk down the street and give a homeless man some spare change. If you sit down and look at the facts of the Middle Ages you would realize that the only thing that has changed is the dialect, fashion trends, and most of all technology. Life, then, was about glory and honor. Even today in the ninety’s life is still about glory and honor. Just like the Middle Ages the ninety’s are full of codes, laws, and honors. If you take away all the natural evolution between the Middle Ages and the present day their is only one thing you can say, “There the same!” The world has not changed one bit!