Essay on The Code Of Knightly Conduct

2385 Words Dec 8th, 2016 10 Pages
Introduction While the word chivalry is associated with gentlemanly behavior today, in the Middle Ages it was the code of knightly conduct that encompassed religious, moral, and social aspects. It was the way medieval knights were expected to behave both in society and on the battlefield. It is important to note, however, that a knight was not just any soldier, he was the mounted warrior of medieval times. Being a knight refers to being part of the cavalry and was a highly respected position, in part because of the mythology that developed surrounding knightly chivalry. Chivalry worked to idealize the knight by holding him to very high moral standards, however there were multiple, contradicting, philosophies that defined what those moral standards should be. The first was the idea that a knight was innately just; he could do no wrong and was supposed to act independently in order to uphold knightly ideals (which were often synonymous with Christian ideals). The knights that adhered to this vision of chivalry were fighting for the glory it brought and this idea was perpetuated in much of popular war literature from the time. The other philosophy was that chivalry meant a knight did what he was told. He was not an individual actor, but instead a vassal to his lord above all else. This can be thought of as an idealized, highly functional version of medieval feudalism.
There are many documents addressing what the duties and practices of medieval knights should look like that…

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