The Greatest Knight Analysis

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THESIS: Tales have been told for generations of the deeds chivalrous knights completed for the sake of wealth and fame. One man in particular with the name William Marshal, became the mold that all of these stories would be passed on. From the book “The Greatest Knight”, author Thomas Asbridge shows that during the time of his life this warrior class evolved into the chivalrous group remembered today. In all the author shows how these men not only ruled the battlefield but through strategic planning became and political movement became powerful politicians the shaped the face of an era.
Summary of Text: The novel, “The Greatest Knight”, tells the story of the most notable knight of the medieval times William Marshal. What makes this such
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Constant struggles for power, disease, and a changing mindset of the people played huge roles in the changes that were seen. One instrument put into place was the lords and ladies great protector, the knights. The way of life lived by these knights have evolved into a modern standard. The idea of a strong man, who lives a loyal and truthful life is sought after today . The knights were incredibly well trained with a sword and lance, but other tools were used to increase their quality of life. To keep the knights happy lords would give sums of money, land, or a profitable marriage. The political side of this is knights constantly trying to play the game of thrones. A knight swore loyalty to their lord, but if it was believed that a struggle could lead to trouble for said lord a knight would prepare to make a decision. Such as when William Marshal played very carefulyl to not offend at the time Count John while he was a knight in the court of King Richard the Lionheart. In the unforeseen event of the death of Richard John gained the status of King. From his careful play and eventual support of the new king William was granted the title of Earl. This goes to show the political conditions of the time. To appease the people who held power often gave someone the opportunity to gain something themselves. This could change suddenly, though, as conflict killed off many rulers who gave rewards to their circle of followers. …show more content…
According to the author William Marshall was the icon for these ways of life. For example, after the loss of his dear friend Henry the Second, the late lord asked William, his most intimate friend to take the shroud that he laid his crusade cross upon to Jerusalem. William gave his word to Henry and took the journey. The trip took over 2,000 miles to almost the edge of the world that was known at the time. This is an act of loyalty that proves how honorable William Marshal actually was. A trip of that magnitude had many dangers on the way and also took a very long time to complete. With nothing binding him to the job but his word William practically did nothing until the promise that he made his most intimate friend was complete. This is just one of the many deeds that Marshal completed in his life. Without men such as him, who took the code of knightly service as serious as he did today we would not correlate the idea with the occupation. From biased writing of the author, though, the text only shows Marshal as a man who pure courageousness. Being marshal was a man a high character he did have instances of relentlessness and hubris. One man unluckily stole the horse of William Marshal after riding it to Epernon. William tracked down the thief and beat him so mercilessly that an eye ball was said to have come out of the thief’s skull. This act in not that of a man of nobility. Also, in another

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