Knight of the Cart “The ideal chivalric knight was brave, loyal, and determined as well as compassionate, just, and helpful to those in distress…The elements of courtly love are humility, courtesy, adultery, and the religion of love…” (Chivalry). Some people believe that Knights cannot follow the Code of Chivalry and the Code of Courtly Love. They believe this because Knights can get so caught up in love, that they will do anything to please their beloved. Knight of the Cart, or otherwise known as Lancelot, is a great example of how the two codes cannot intertwine. Many times throughout Knight of the Cart we see how Lancelot throws away his honor and glory just to save the Queen. In the Code of Courtly Love it says that a lovers deed
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When he falls of the horse is another example of how being in the presence of a loved one cause palpitations of the heart. Later on, Lancelot is offered a place to stay the night by another knight but declines because he wants to get to Guinevere quickly. By declining, he is breaking part of the chivalric code because he is not honoring his fellow knight. In the Code of Courtly love it says that eating and sleeping is diminished when your loved one is in distress. Lancelot does not want to stop because he is so worried about Guinevere. This is another way the two codes are conflicting because he doesn’t follow the Code of Chivalry, but is following the Code of Courtly love.
“One cannot be both reasonable and in love at the same time” (Models). This quote sums up what Knight of the Cart is representing. As stated before, knights had to be strong and brave but the idea of love softens the heart and makes the knights softer. If knights let down their guard it was frowned upon which is what Lancelot did.
“Chivalry and Courtly Love.” English Articles. 2013. Web. 3-30-13.
“Models of Knighthood in Chretien de Troyes.” O-r-g.org. Web.