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Chivalry Essay

1167 words - 5 pages

Literally, chivalry means, “The sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms (Random). Chivalry is most known from the middle ages; the time of the knights and kings. There was even something known as the knight’s code of chivalry. All knights were to sympathize with the elderly and the orphans, never accept a reward, always fight to help others, always obey authority, protect their fellow knights’ honor, compete against unfairness, always keep faith, never lie or deceive anyone, respect women, and never refuse a challenge (Knights). The knights of the middle ages lived by 12 points which were faith, charity, justice, sagacity, prudence, temperance, resolution, truth, liberality, diligence, hope, and valor (Knights).
Most people today think that chivalry and honor are non-existent, but really these things are still abundantly in our lives, they just are not taken quite as seriously as they were back in the Middle Ages. If you pay attention to the movies in our culture today most of them display some sort of chivalry, honor, bravery, or loyalty.
In the movie 300, it starts out with messengers from the Persian army telling Sparta to bow down under king Xerxes rule. Leonidas, the leader of the Spartan army, goes to the Ephors, ancient priests with leprosy, to get permission to go to war with Persia (Gordon). Even though Leonidas knew that the Persian army had thousands of soldiers, he went on to battle with only 300 men showing great bravery. He knows that it is certainly a battle that no Spartan will survive, but he wants to convince the Spartan council to unite the city-states around them to fight Persia to keep his friends and family safe (Gordon). The knights in the middle ages never surrendered or backed away from a challenge especially if they could help their friends and family by accepting the challenge, no matter the consequences. Leonidas meets a hunchbacked Spartan named Ephialtes who wants to fight with the Spartan army to redeem his family’s honor. Even though Leonidas feels sorry for Ephialtes, he does not let him join the army because he cannot hold a shield, which could cause the Spartan formation to be ruined, and many warriors to be killed or injured (Gordon). At the first battle, the Persians order the Spartans to concede, and Leonidas refuses. The Spartans do all that they can to hold of the Persian army and Xerxes offers Leonidas riches if he surrenders, and he declines (Gordon). Dilios, who lost his left eye during the battle, still wants to fight but Leonidas sends him back to Sparta to protect him (Gordon). Leonidas being much like the knights of king Arthur’s time is protecting his fellow Spartans even if it could cause him trouble. Dilios does not want to leave his brothers, but he follows his orders. The Persians surround the Spartans and once again ask them to surrender while bribing Leonidas with Prestige. Leonidas again declines (Gordon)....

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