Providence and ability greatly affect a knight’s

Providence and ability greatly affect a knight’s everyday life and a balance must be found between them in order for him to succeed. At times, he may even have to overcome God’s providence with the help of his extraordinary abilities. The two main characters of the Knyghtes Tale, Palamon and Arcite, strive to reconcile these aspects throughout the tale.

Luckily, Theseus serves as the model we can compare them to and he guides them to a noble end by interfering in their duel when they go astray. The development Arcite and Palamon show between their characters in the duel and those in the battle gives us hope that we can fruitfully integrate providence and ability within our own lives.The Knyght gives us an account of providence, the first main aspect of a knight’s life, both in passing and in long descriptions. One of his most striking examples comes from a narration of a seemingly trivial action, Theseus’ hunting expedition. The destinee, ministre general,That executeth in the world over alThe purveiance that God hath seyn biforn,So strong it is that, though the world had swornThe contrarie of a thyng by ye or nay,Yet sometyme it shall fallen on a dayThat falleth nat eft withinne a thousand yeer.

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For certeinly, oure appetites heer,Be it of werre, or pees, or hate, or love,Al is this reuled by the sighte above.The destiny, minister general,That administers over all in the worldThe foresight that God has said before,So strong it is that, though the world had swornThe opposite of a thing be it ye or nay,Yet sometime it shall fall on a dayThat falls not again within a thousand years.For certainly, our appetites here,Be it of war, or peace, or hate, or love,All this is ruled by the foresight above. The Knyght uses this description to explain why Theseus encounters Arcite and Palamon’s duel in the grove, but the description performs a much greater task in the tale, it explicitly tells us the influence destiny has over our appetites. This passage communicates its message with certainty; we have no choice in which forces will drive our lives. The Knyght gives us an account of ability, the second main aspect of a knight’s life, by means of the character Duke Theseus, a perfect example of knighthood. Theseus embodies the characteristics that all knights must attain in order to be considered honorable. These characteristics can be simplified into three main categories that focus on respect; he respects himself, others worthy of honor, and God.

He plays this role even more perfectly because of the consistency in his nobility throughout the tale. Before all else, he holds himself to a high standard. Early in the tale the Knyght gives us a brief overview of his accomplishments that lay the foundation for his ideal character.Theseus also recognizes his aptitude for success as a knight and acts accordingly with confidence. For instance, he interrupts the duel between Palamon and Arcite without hesitation even though he does not know anything about the situation or men involved, only that they are fighting with much strength.Furthermore, when he suggests that Palamon and Arcite settle their dispute with a battle he promises Emily’s hand upon his truthfulness and knighthood and says he will judge impartially.

Both his actions and his speech convey his confidence in his worthiness as a knight. Then, he treats those he views to be worthy of honor nobly. We first see his devotion to his friends when he changes Arcite’s sentence simply because of his love for Perotheus, who favored Arcite when he lived in Thebes.He also honors those whom he does not know personally, as he does with Palamon, Arcite, and their armies when he leads them through Athens, inns them, and entertains them.After the battle he encourages the other knights to act the same when he tells the armies to stop their rancor and ill will toward each other and instead act as brothers because of their valor in battle.

Moreover, he allows himself to be swayed by compassion even though his first reaction to a breach in lawfulness is to enforce the expected condemnation..

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