This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Emily's Strength In Knight's Tale

919 words - 4 pages

Emily's Strength in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale


This passeth yeer by yeer and day by day,
Till it fill ones, in a morwe of May,
that Emelye, that fairer was to sene
Than is the lylie upon his stalke grene,
And fressher than the May with floures newe -
For with the rose colour stroof hire hewe,
I noot which was the fyner of hem two- (1033-1039)

Thus is Emily, the least often discussed of the four central characters in the Knight's Tale, described upon her first important entrance in the tale, when the knights initially view her in all of her loveliness. This description of Emily fits in with the common criticism that she is more a symbol of the beauty and goodness that chivalric nature desires than an actual character with thoughts, actions and emotions of her own (Donaldson 49). However, although Emily does lack an individual nature and depth of mind, she still has a certain power and dynamic nature about her that is unusual for a woman in the time period during which Chaucer wrote her story (Spearing 43).

Through her prayers to Diana asking to remain chaste, some may argue that Emily is, once again, merely reacting to an event, rather than having thoughts of her own (Donaldson 49). A stronger point, however, is made in regards to her heritage as an Amazon woman. Rather than remain in keeping with the popular sentiments of the day and be completely submissive to men, Emily is showing her inherited reluctance to become a subordinate creature (Spearing 43). She is thereby exhibiting a rare bit of strength and showing us that she has power in more ways than one.

Often, Emily is said to be a conventional heroine, especially after all of the liveliness and excitement of the portraits in the General Prologue. This convention, however, is not necessarily of a negative nature. All of the imagery and language that envelops Emily is completely unparalleled within any of the portraits in the Prologue (Cooper 110); and, though she is a thoroughly two-dimensional character, it is through this limited perspective that Chaucer has tried so hard to create (Donaldson 48) that we realize Emily's true purpose. This purpose is to serve as a rhetorical device to allow the reader to come to a full realization of the...

Find Another Essay On Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Emily's Strength in Knight's Tale

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Biblical Allusions in The Shipman's Tale

4054 words - 16 pages The Canterbury Tales, - Biblical Allusions in The Shipman’s Tale There is no doubting Chaucer’s mastery at paroemia; that his adaptations of his many and varied sources transcended their roots is attested by the fact that, unlike many of his contemporaries or authorities, his works have not “passen as dooth a shadwe upon the wal”[1]. Yet while his skill as a medieval author is undisputed, the extent of his subtlety is not always fully

Essay on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Greed in the Pardoner’s Tale

1334 words - 5 pages for his living.  The pardoner submits himself to his theme of “Radix malorum est cupiditas.” His theme becomes a reality and he  allows avarice to take control his life.  Just as Jesus lived life living into eternal life, the pardoner lives his life dying into eternal death by committing his avaricious acts and deceiving people in the name of God.  Works Cited Brewer, Derek.    “The Canterbury Tales.” An Introduction to Chaucer.  New

Chaucer's Society in Canterbury Tales

890 words - 4 pages range of attitudes towards life and literature is expressed. The main point of the tales are to share morals. You will now read a few summaries of some of the tales presented in Chaucer's works. The judge in the Physician's tale lusts after Virginius' daughter. When he finds that she will not give into temptation, he sends someone in to give a fake claim against Virginius that he is only claiming she is his daughter and orders her to be taken

Women in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

905 words - 4 pages The only two women most significant and described in great detail in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer who provide the greatest insight into contemporary medieval society are the Wife of Bath and the Prioress. These two women appear similar in the General Prologue of the poem but, as we see through their tales, they are quite unique women and most importantly very different from one another. By examining both the Wife of Bath and the

Satire of the Knight in the Prologue and Knight's Tale of "The Canterbury Tales"

2367 words - 9 pages . In the article "Costume Rhetoric in the Knight's Portrait: Chaucer's Every-Knight and his Bismotered Gyphon," by Laura F. Hodges, featured in April 1995 edition of The Chaucer Review, Hodges examines the reasons behind Chaucer's decisions on the clothing of his Knight. After examining the introduction of the Knight's character in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, Ms. Hodges said that Chaucer intended his Knight to be the

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

1287 words - 5 pages Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Knight, Squire, Prioress, The Monk and the Friar are defined by their settings in Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales. 1. Portnoy says in his article in the Chaucer Review that "The General Prologue is like a mirror reflecting the individuals appearance which then defines the character of that person."(281) 2. Scanlon backs up Portnoy in his article from Speculum by saying

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

929 words - 4 pages Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer comments on moral corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. He criticizes many high-ranking members of the Church and describes a lack of morality in medieval society; yet in the “Retraction,” Chaucer recants much of his work and pledges to be true to Christianity. Seemingly opposite views exist within the “Retraction” and The Canterbury Tales. However, this

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

651 words - 3 pages Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales While the majority of literary classics today do well at engaging the reader and allowing them a vicarious understanding of a fictitious character’s life, Chaucer found a way to engage more than just the reader and the character. In his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer masterfully links together himself as the author, himself as a character in the story, the other characters, and then finally the readers. Chaucer’s

Powerful Satire in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

3484 words - 14 pages Powerful Satire in The Canterbury Tales If one theme can be considered overriding or defining throughout Medieval European society, it would most likely be the concept of social class structure. During this early historical period in Europe, most of society was divided into three classes or 'estates:' the workers, the nobles, and the clerics. By Chaucer's time, however, the powerful estate structure had begun to wear down. Weaknesses in

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

1738 words - 7 pages Chaucer, women found motivation to fight for their rights. Until today, The Canterbury Tales is still one of the literary works that stands for women's rights. Works Cited Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. Print. Leicester, H. Marshall, Jr. "Of a Fire in the Dark: Public and Private Feminism in The Wife of Bath's Tale." Women's Studies 11.1-2 (1984): 157-178. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 March 2014. Rigby, S. H. "Misogynist versus Feminist Chaucer." Chaucer in Context: Society, Allegory and Gender. Manchester University Press, 1996. 116-163. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 March 2014.

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

2104 words - 8 pages . Yet the pardoner in Chaucer’s tale is described as having; .. A cross of metal set with stones And, in a glass, a rubble of pig’s bones. And with these relics, any time he found Some poor up-country parson to astound (Chaucer, “The Canterbury tales: The Prologue” 468). In these lines, the Pardoner is displayed as a liar, selling fake relics in order to collect large sums of money from the people he meets. These are the people

Similar Essays

The Knight's Tale In Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

824 words - 3 pages The Knight's Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Knight's Tale is one of the twenty-two completed Canterbury Tales by the celebrated English Writer Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400). The Canterbury Tales are a collection of 120 stories that Chaucer began writing in 1386, and planned to complete during his lifetime. Each of the tales features a large range of characters in a great variety of medieval plots, along with interesting

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Importance Of Order In Knight's Tale

1822 words - 7 pages Knight's Tale fulfill this expectation? Perhaps, but in a rather strange way. After the lengthy attention a reader must pay to each singular character in the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales, he is propelled in the direction of concentrating on characterization. A reader attempting to focus on perceivable characters will become frustrated, with no physical descriptions in the entire tale except those describing the foreign Kings

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Enslavement And Freedom In The Knight's Tale

2099 words - 8 pages Enslavement and Freedom in the Knight's Tale        In the Knight's Tale, Palamon and Arcite's lives are filled with adversity and enslavement .  Not only do they live in  physical imprisonment, bound as prisoners of war in a tower, but they fall into Love's imprisonment, which leads them to suffer the decrees of cruel classical gods .  Cooper writes that there "can be no moral or metaphysical justice in the different fates that befall

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Idealism In The Knight's Tale

1834 words - 7 pages Idealism in the Knight's Tale      Despite its glorified accounts of the chivalrous lives of gentlemen, the Knight¹s Tale proves to be more than a tragically romantic saga with a happy ending. For beneath this guise lies an exploration into the trifling world of the day¹s aristocratic class. Here, where physical substance is superseded by appearance, reality gives way to disillusioned canon and emotion is sacrificed for honor. Naïve