Friday, April 12, 2013

A-Z: "K" is for The Knight in The Canterbury Tales

The A-Z challenge letter is "K" and today I'm discussing The Knight in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.   As previously mentioned, the Knight was the first traveler to begin his tale about Emelye.  They actually drew straws to see who would go first.  To think they've been drawing straws since that long if not longer.  Anyway, the Knight's has this noble quality and presence that commands respect.  His military career was extensive which that alone makes him revered by all.  
His laid back nature and his need for romantic happy tales may come from all the fighting he's endured in his life. Perhaps he witnessed too much death and hate and wanted to focus on peace? I don't know but it's clear the Host admires him.   When your reading about him, you get an immediate sense that he's this chivalrous character much like a knight of the round table.  What I find interesting about him was if you wrote a character like him by today's literary standards, he would be labeled flat. Who wants to read about perfect characters? NO ONE. 

The truth is with the Knight you know there's more to him. He fought in the Crusades for Christ sake (not to mention hoards of other wars) and probably has more blood on his hands than any of the travelers.  With the many translations of this tale, its hard to know exactly why Chaucer portrayed The Knight as a perfect seasoned warrior with a gentle spirit. That said, his tale was entertaining to say the least.

Interesting fact, which I didn't know was Shakespeare and John Fletcher co-wrote and adaptation of Chaucer's The Knight's Tale with The Two Noble Kinsmen.

What about you?  Are you a fan of the Knight?  Are you happy its Friday? 

Mina B.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One admirable and well-rounded character is acceptable. I would think a knight would be a little messed up after years of war and death though.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I like the night, but I don't love him the way I love some of his more flawed characters. Still, he's made for some great adaptations.

mshatch said...

I like knights who defend their countries better than ones who invade someone else's but...times were different back then.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

Who wants to read about perfect characters? Uhhh have you read Twilight?

150 million people got on board with the fact that Edward is "perfect".

Seriously...I'm quoting Stephanie Meyer. That's how he's described.

Perfect. Look it up if you don't believe me. Trust me, I read it.

J. A. Bennett said...

Since I haven't read Chaucer I can't say for certian, but it seems like when we do anything fictional with knights these days Chaucer's knight is the base for that :)

Nick Wilford said...

Maybe he kept a lot of things bottled up and presented this well-rounded facade.

Michelle said...

There's obviously more to the knight, that will remain forever hidden... his "perfect" character worked for that era... it's meant to be that way...?