Medieval Knights in History Analytical Essay by Nicky

Medieval Knights in History
A comparative analysis of the texts "Life in a Medieval Castle", by Joseph and Frances Gies, and "The Poem of the Cid", trans. by L. Simpson.
# 146776 | 2,403 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 16, 2011 in History (European) , Literature (Poetry) , Literature (World)

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The paper examines the texts "Life in a Medieval Castle" by Joseph and Frances Gies, and "The Poem of the Cid" in order to compare these images of the medieval knight and to show what type of world they lived in. The paper discusses how these two works present very different genres; one is factual, while the other is written to entertain. The paper demonstrates how although the medieval knight is a legendary and romantic figure in history, the reality of the knight was not always one of heroism and chivalry.

Values, Ethos, and Way of Life
The Image of the Knight

From the Paper:

"The medieval knight existed to protect others, and he was extremely loyal to his lord or master. To become a knight, a youth had to study and prove his ability to fight, and he had to be knighted by a lord or his king. The Gies' write, the word knight "simply indicated a warrior who fought on horseback, but even in its earliest stage it connoted a superiority of class, since only a man of means could afford a horse" (Gies 170). Thus, the knights were higher in status that other servants, and in fact, as the story of The Cid shows, they were often quite wealthy themselves, and rose to the rank of a lord or leader in their own right. They could not come from the peasant class, and they became an aristocracy of their own by the thirteenth century (Gies 171). Many knights paid a fee for knighthood, while others were knighted for valor in service to their lord."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gies, Joseph and Frances. Life in a Medieval Castle. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974.
  • The Poem of the Cid. Trans. by Lesley Byrd Simpson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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