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Hamlet: Chivalry - College Essay

Hamlet: Chivalry


It would be obvious to say that society changes over the years.
Yet as the years grow farther apart we tend to forget how those before us
lived their lives. These historic ways of life are thankfully preserved in
literary works put down and documented centuries before us. The goal of
this paper is to examine the extinct life style of chivalry and show how it
relates to William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Specifically The final act
and scene.
As I began researching chivalry I found that there was a lot more
to it than draping my cape over a puddle for a lady. It actually began not
as a way to conduct ones life but rather as a social and economic class.
The word chivalry has its roots in ...

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The idea of a knight being a
servant does not fit most people's ideas of knighthood or chivalry, but in
essence that is what a knight is. A knight's duty is always to his king.
The duality of these roles is what makes chivalry unique. (Barber 9).
So where did chivalry get its start? Many believe it started with
the barbaric Huns or the Roman Empire. Both civilizations had soldiers who
can be called knights, but there is controversy over which really
influenced what we now consider chivalry. The Hun soldiers were
inseparable from their horses realizing the effectiveness of mounted attack.
A classical writer referred to them as "shaggy centaurs." The Romans had
a class of soldiers they called the "equites." These examples are related
to chivalry but different because of the way in which it began. Chivalry
actually begins with the end of the empire of Charlemagne during the mid
eighth century. A knight basically began as a horse mounted solider. No
elaborate armor or ...

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was the "practicing of mock warfare known as tournaments.
Tournaments were central to the world of chivalry: they acted both as
training grounds for knights….and as focal points for a literature and
culture based on knighthood" (19). A knight had to be trained in all
aspects of combat from horsemanship to fencing. The well equipped knighted
that we tend to think of today did not appear until the very beginning of
the eleventh century.
So, what made a knight during this time of chivalry? The author
Sidney Painter, in his book French Chivalry, broke down the character of a
knight in to four basic virtues. The first of these is prowess. Prowess
is described as "the ability to beat the ...

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Hamlet: Chivalry. (2005, April 11). Retrieved July 23, 2024, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Hamlet-Chivalry/25188
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/11/2005 09:37:12 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1913
Pages: 7

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