Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A to Z "K" is for Knight : Knighthood--or sainthood?

"I became a Knight at the age of twelve.  I was afraid.  I knew that it was my destiny, still, I nearly trembled at the thought. I had heard stories from other Knights, older Knights, Knights who had already run the gauntlet and found their way.  I had seen the look of pain in the eyes of some as they shared their stories of the competitive nature of it all.  When the Knights took the field, the watchers cheered.  But, it was a more subtle competition that took place away from the field, away from the desks and books.  Where pecking orders were established, and superiority and inferiority were claimed and forced.

We had gone to see the school of the Knights, an early tour to dissuade our fears at the challenge before us.  Nearly 300 of us walked into those halls, the same as others had done... by the hundreds...thousands even.

This was to become part of me, part of my life...and now, thirty plus years later, part of my memories."

A teacher stood before us all and said, "Welcome to Jr Sr High School, home of the Knights"

Were you reeled in?  Even a little bit? ;-)  Couldn't help but have a little fun with this post.  My local High School is still the home of the Knights.

But, what I really wanted to write about-- Knights, Knights in literature, and what they represent.  For this post, I refer to fictional Knights.  The Knights Templar and the Teutonic Knights deserve a whole other post.

I am a fan of Arthurian Legend.  But, I will turn to the Franks and Charlemagne for the code of honor.

The Knights Code of Honor per "Song of Roland":  quoted from here

"To fear God and maintain His Church
To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
To protect the weak and defenceless
To give succour to widows and orphans
To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
To live by honour and for glory
To despise pecuniary reward
To fight for the welfare of all
To obey those placed in authority
To guard the honour of fellow knights
To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
To keep faith
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
To respect the honour of women
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
Never to turn the back upon a foe."


Song Of Roland, 778 A.d Painting - Song Of Roland, 778 A.d Fine Art Print - fineartamerica.com

Ladies love Knights...I wonder why that is?  It is such a popular theme in romance novels--knights  and courtly love.  Always portrayed as honorable, loyal to their God, and their king...first.  

In the Arthurian tale, "Lanval" the Knight, Lanval, does break his word to a woman--in order to keep his oath to his king. " "Never for love, and not for you, Would I be to my lord untrue".

 Credit for photo: http://peuple-feerique.com/2010/07/20/lanval-une-exposition-un-livre/

Is it the nature of humans--we too often want that which we can never have?  Is it the "I am the one" syndrome...I could make him break an oath?  Or is it that we really want someone honorable, strong, honest...  Hmm?  

Counter that with the propensity of many women to want the "bad boy".  Still, the themes of honor and fairness thrive.  Knighthood--one step away from sainthood.

                                                          Photo credit: GregAdamski.com

And somewhere in the middle of all of this code of honor, is born a weakness.  There is something very fragile, very vulnerable, within a Knight bound to live according to  the code, and the oath they have given.

So,  maybe we just love to love tragic heroes?

I have no answers, but still I search.  Knights are  (still) popular. Why? 

For further reading: Wonderful page here about Chivalry in Arthurian Legend




10 comments:

  1. Love your post. I think Knights, as characters, still exist. Many love interests in novels these days resemble some of the characteristics that Ladies were drawn to.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca. I have become much more aware since I started to write--the actions of humans. Yep, we do still see it. And ladies love Knights--the good boys, just as much as they love the bad boys. :-) Thank you for visiting.

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  2. Reminds me of how I encountered Knights in some of my Middle English classes. ^.^

    -Barb the French Bean

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    1. Ha! Now that would make a class perfect--for me. Knights attending :-)

      *sigh* I know. You meant in your lit books.

      But..a girl can dream.

      Thank you so much for visiting. :-)

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  3. I loved knights cos they seemed too good to be true...I waited for a chink in their armor of honor.

    Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. Thanks Damyanti. They do seem too good to be true--but since we have to suspend our disbelief to read fiction, lol...well, why not just let it go? The Knights Templar and the Teutonic Knights--knights recorded in history, were not always good men. But, for the most part, they did not become rogue knights; they just followed a bad king, or a bad lord. :-) Thanks for weighing in! Happy A to Z-ing :-)

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  4. Very clever!

    My daughter's name, in a roundabout way, has Teutonic origins. I love castles, knights etc.

    Alex

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    1. Thanks, Alexandra! I adore names plucked out of history and out of ancient roots. Yes... castles, knights... I was born in the wrong age. :-) Thank you for visiting! I will see you soon. :-)

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  5. Bad boys are over rated, I think. A battle scarred good man is best for me!
    I live near a place called Tintagel, the castle is reputed to be King Arthur's home. It's right on the cliffs, very ruggedly beautiful, and dangerous in rough weather.

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    1. Really?? Tintagel? I just googled images and it gave me goosebumps looking at the ruins! Where are you on the "Arthurian" legend? Do you believe that there was one man who united all of Britain after the Romans withdrew--upon whom the legends are based?

      Wow--all right in your backyard!

      Thanks for sharing that bit of information. My imagination is on fire, lol, but my WIP (editing) has nothing of knights and courtly love in it :-) *sigh*

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