In this age of Facebook, Blogging, Spam, Telephone Marketing, Sarcastic Humour, where anyone of any educational stature can fill the airwaves with whatever might enter their heads at any moment - does chivalry deserve a come back?

Where is the integrity of old gone?  In the days when knights were knights and, well ....

What ever happened to this:

When examining medieval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:

  1. Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.
  2. Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.
  3. Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.
And this:

These three areas obviously overlap quite frequently in chivalry, and are often indistinguishable.

Different weight given to different areas produced different strands of chivalry:

  1. warrior chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to his lord, as exemplified by Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
  2. religious chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to protect the innocent and serve God, as exemplified by Sir Galahad or Sir Percival in theGrail legends.
  3. courtly love chivalry, in which a knight's chief duty is to his own lady, and after her, all ladies, as exemplified by Sir Lancelot in his love for Queen Guinevere or Sir Tristan in his love for Iseult
And this:

Upon my honor,

  1. I will develop my life for the greater good. 
  2. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. 
  3. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. 
  4. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. 
  5. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. 
  6. I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises. 
  7. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. 
  8. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. 
  9. I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them. 
  10. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. 
  11. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. 
  12. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward. 

Is there a place for Chivalry in our modern times - can we integrate these values of chivalry into our quest to promote rational thinking in our modern society?

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Replies to This Discussion

They never claimed to be chivalrous. They were monastic knightly orders, not chivalric.

I don't ask for chivalry.  I want justice. (and a little courtesy would be nice.)

According to this site - justice is part of chivalry - the only one I would change is no. 6, from 'women' to 'others' and 'sexism' to 'inequality'.


Upon my honor,

  1. I will develop my life for the greater good. 
  2. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth. 
  3. I will never boast, but cherish humility instead. 
  4. I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word. 
  5. I will defend those who cannot defend themselves. 
  6. I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises. 
  7. I will uphold justice by being fair to all. 
  8. I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship. 
  9. I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them. 
  10. I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help. 
  11. I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven. 
  12. I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward. 

Their aimed to capture this chivalry in the script of Merlin quite well - http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/downloads/scripts/merlin_s...


LOL

I don't know about chivalry ... but how about plain-and-simple MANNERS?!?

This is something that I've run onto since I moved in with the woman who has now become my wife. It frequently amounts to nothing more complex than saying "thank you" and MEANING it, being attentive, doing simple things because one of us knows it will please the other, and it can be as basic as holding a door (which we BOTH do for each other) and remembering how she likes her coffee.

I find it lifts my mood as well as makes the day-to-day relationship with her that much more enjoyable. The neatest thing about is that it doesn't cost you a dime, but the payback is fantastic!

Loren - manners are good too - I like them - I think though that something a bit more complex is called for sometimes - in sticky social situations perhaps - or when your relationships are tested and you are put under pressure....   

I find the entire topic of Chivalry facinating. From a person who has always struggled with the balance of idealism and pursuit of perfection with the reality of this next-to-impossible task. Also, being male who was raised very "traditionally" (I can still hear my father's voice, "Son, what are you doing sitting down while there is a woman who is standing?"), I am amazed at the lack of general respect I see on a daily basis.

Saying all this, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the obvious. The reason a code of chivalry was originally needed was the fact that nights were the most selfish, feudal, sexist skum-bags of the day. If there was a warlord in Englaind named Arthur, the last thing 99% of knighted soldiers were was chivalrous. The intire idea was grudgingly accepted and very rarely practiced. But this isn't the point of the discussion.

The point of this discussion is the need of chivalry in the modern context. I believe it is. Not chivary from man to woman, but chivalry from one to all. It is a very ambitious idea, but one I believe is acheivable (or at the very least deserving to be sought after).

Just like romantic poems and "chick flick" romantic comedies. We all want love to be this way and strive to it every day. Unfortunately, it rarely - if ever - is reality.  

 

Go Troy - I totally agree - love your name by the way.... :)

What's wrong with wanting to maintain high ideals - even if we make mistakes - admit them and ask for forgiveness and move on - how honourable is that!  I really do respect people who can do this - and would like to take it on as my way of being - 

Avoiding value judgements also - in basic chit chat conversations - saving up value judgements for well thought out rare occasions when it is called for as a matter of honour, loyalty and friendship -

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