Knight’s tale | from Chaucer’s Canterbury tales

  The Knight’s tale is a story of Palamon and Arcite .Described by Chaucer in the ‘general prologue’ as the person of highest social standing amongst the pilgrims, though his manners and clothes are unpretentious, (Knight’s tale is a high romance told in heroic couplet)

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Knight’s tale starts with two characters (they are also knight) Palamon and Arcite, when they go to Athens (city of Greece) they are imprisoned by Theseus, the duke of Athens. Their cell is in the tower of Theseus, castle with a window which overlooks the palace garden. One day the imprisoned Palamon wakes up early in may and saw the princes Emily . She is Theseus’s sister-in-law picking flowers for a garland. He instantly fall in love with her. Arcite also wakes up and sees Emily he too falls in love her, which creates tension between the two friends.

  Palamon and Arcite

  They begin fight with each other who should get Emily.But are stopped by the arrival of Theseus. Theseus, originally plans to sentence the two to death but upon the protest of his wife and Emily, he decided to have them compete in a tournament, that Palamon and Arcite are to gather 100 men apiece and to fight a mass. Judicial tournament, the winner of which is to marry Emily. One the night before tournament Palamon prays to Venus to make Emily his wife.

Emily prays to Diana to remain unmarried or else to marry the one who truly loves her. Arcite prays to Mars the God of wars for victory. Theseus lays down a rule that if any man becomes seriously injured he must be dragged out and the combat is over.

In the battle Palamon is wounded by a chance sword thrust from one of Arcite’s men and fell down from horse. Theseus declared the fight is over. Arcite wins the battle, but following the divine intervention by Saturn God of time, he is mortally injured hy his horse throwing him off and then fall, before he can claim Emily as his prize. As he dies he tells Emily that she should marry Palamon because he would make good husband for he…. At the end Palamon marries Emily and thus all three prayers are fulfilled.  For other easy analysis of english click

In the Canterbury tale the knight is the highest in social hierarchy so he is the first character. He is Brave Worthy and Honourable. The knights represents the value of Chivalry, truth, honour and justice.

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