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Becoming A Knight Essay

2104 words - 8 pages

During the middle ages, in order to become a knight one had to go through many years of training.A knight-to-be spent at least fourteen years of his life learning the proper conduct and etiquette ofknighthood. Once the years of training were completed, often an elaborate ceremony took place when thegentleman was knighted. Once knighted, the man had to live by the code of chivalry. This code had thebasic guidelines of a knight's behavior. This code was so respected that abiding by it brought honor andrespect from others.The education of a knight began at the age of seven. This was when a boy was taken from hishome and sent to the castle of a famous noble, perhaps his father's lord. Here he served the lord and thelady as a page until he was fourteen years old. One of the many duties of a page was to accompany the lordand lady at all times. He also waited on them during meals, and went with them on various affairs doingwhatever was asked of him. As a page, he received religious instruction from the chaplain. The squirestaught the page fighting skills, and gave him training in arms. The mistress and her ladies taught the pageto honor and protect all women. He also learned to sing and to play the lute, in order to hunt and hawk.The most important thing that he learned during the seven years as a page was how to care for and ride ahorse. This was a skill that was essential when becoming a knight, because a horse was his primary modeof transportation.At the age of fourteen, the page became a squire, and at the same time, was formally assigned to aknight. He now learned to handle a sword, lance, and to bear the weight of heavy armor. Along with hiscontinued duties from when he was a page, he now had to carve at the dinner table, and accompany hisknight to war. He was constantly receiving instructions from the knight, and attended to the knight'spersonal needs. He assisted the knight with putting on his armor, and had to make sure the sword and otherarms of the knight were polished. He also had to care for the knight's horse, which entailed grooming,feeding, and constant attention. The squire stood by in battles to give aid in a conflict should the knight beovermatched, and to lend his horse should his master lose his own. It was the squire who picked up theknight when he fell, and took his body away if he was injured or killed. This all lasted for the next sevenyears of the squire's life. At the end of th!is period, when he was twenty-one, a squire who had demonstrated his competence and worth, either bysuccessful completion of his training or on the actual field of battle, was knighted.The ceremony of the squire becoming knighted was often very elaborate. The squire had to firsttake a purification bath that symbolized the purity of his new life. After the bath, he knelt or stood all nightin prayer before the altar on which the armor he would wear later lay. In the morning they had a religiousritual, with perhaps a sermon on the knight's duty to protect...

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