Examples Of Love In The Knights Tale

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The virtue of love, which is introduced in the Knights tale, corresponds to those possessed by the two knights — Arcite and Palamon. This tale consists of the most noble and valued virtue; Love. Both knights immediately fell in love with Emily since the first moment they saw her: “love at first sight is stretched to its extreme. The young men disown all their previous affection and loyalty to each other, become deadly rivals for this unattainable lady, and dispute over which of them has the stronger claim to her” (Martin, 45). These men are blindsided with Emily’s love and to ignorant to realize the outcome of fighting against one another. In Arcite’s speech given before his death, he describes the morals and virtues a knight acquires and what…show more content…
Neither Arcite nor Palamon realize that the woman they are so devoted to knows nothing about them or how they feel. Martin states “They adore her for years with no hope of reciprocation, not only because of their sentences of life imprisonment and Arcite’s later exile on pain of death, but because she knows nothing at all of their feelings” (Martin, 44). On the basis of their love, the knights choose which God they will pray to before the battle. Palamon prays to Venus and does not wish for victory but for the possession of Emily: “ I crave only the possession of Emily, so that I might live and die in your service… I do not care if I win victory or suffer defeat, as long as I can hold my lady in my arms” (Chaucer, 58-59). Arcite on the other hand “prays Mars for victory, reiterating the plea for pity of his pains of love, emphasizing his lust and desire for possession” (Baker, 462). The knights want possession of poor Emily, however, this is not due to them loving her unconditionally while being aware of the circumstances but because they both physically want her in their lives. Nonetheless, Artice wins the battle but he does no win the love of Emily as he is wounded by the fall of a horse and it is Palamon who eventually marries
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