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Word Count: 768
Chivalry began in the 12th century in the form of a knightly code of conduct with special emphasis on courtly manners toward women Thirteenth century stories that showed the ways a warrior should behave in romance became popular Churchmen liked the idea of high standards and made the knighting ceremony a religious occasion with a church vigil and purifying bath Books on the subject soon began to appear Many forms of chivalrous code can be found today from The Cowboys Code to the Rules of Courtly Love These codes are stated with the hope that people will try and follow them to some degree yet only the perfect could adhere to them all Considering the fact that such perfection is impossible the authors merely set out a guideline for honorable behavior In the context of medieval times a knight was expected to have faith in his beliefs for faith was considered to give hope against the despair that human failings create I chose to use The Code of Chivalry for my comparisons on literary characters great successes and failures For my first example I chose the brave and fearless Beowulf According to the 19th code of chivalry one must Destroy evil in all of its monstrous forms and also Exhibit courage in word and deed Beowulf proclaimed to fight the evil Grendel saying We shall fight for our lives foe against foe and he whom death takes off must resign himself to the judgment of God 1200 After the battle the terror-filled Grendel crept away mortally wounded Beowulf had upheld this particular code with valor and bravery For my second example I looked to Sir Gawain The story of the Green Knight is seeped with instances of chivalry and honorable men Always keep ones word of honor was an obvious code for this particular story Not only did Sir Gawain show respect for the codes of chivalry by serving his king exhibiting
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