Chivalry in Research Paper for Literature Classes

November 19, 2016 – 10:23 pm

Your Chivalry literature research paper could discuss Knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and fair play all often come to mind.

Chivalry in research papers for literature classes includes looking at the concept from many angles. Some common world literature course discussions on chivalry often look at the topic from the era of the Middle Ages, when chivalry was experiencing its height.

World Literature readings that include the theme of chivalry include the following:

The word chivalry brings forth romantic feelings in both men and women around the world. Write a research paper or essay on chivalry. Your literature research paper could discuss Knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and fair play all often come to mind. Or your research may point out that to others, chivalry brings other thoughts to mind that leaves them of with less idealized images. You could write your research paper on Chivalry as a reminder of how many stereotypes about women began and the sexes, stereotypes that persist to this day. After all chivalry emphasizes the helpless woman who needs the brave knight in shining armor to save her and protect her. Chivalry is one of the major sources of even the more modern concept of how the gentleman behaves.


Chivalry in Europe

Chivalry developed among the knights of medieval Europe. The Feudal system of governing, military virtues, newly adopted Christian virtues, and the Arthurian legends all contributed to the creation of chivalry. Some common aspects of chivalry are honesty, loyalty, courage, justice, prowess, faith, nobility, generosity, and humility. The word chivalry actually derives from a French word chevalier that means "horseman" or "knight". Courtly love also played a role in the development chivalry. Chivalry also had a great deal to do with the crusades to retake the Holy Land and Jerusalem, though it is questionable what kind of effect it had considering the raping, pillaging and wanton murder committed by the chivalrous knights.

The Chivalric Code

The Chivalric Code had a great effect on the relationship between men and women. According to the code knights were to have a romantic devotion to women who was impossible for them to ever have a real relationship with. This usually involved protecting and feeling this romantic devotion to a married woman.

One of the foundations of chivalry was the idea that a noble could not be a perfect knight unless he loved a lady. The lady could not fight for herself but could have men fight for her. Ladies exercised much more control behind the scenes in that time. In most cases the way to gain power or money was through their champion.

She was the devil's temptress, alluring men to commit sins of the flesh, and was to be avoided so far as possible. Celibacy was the highest human state and chastity one of man's chief virtues…They (women) married young, and aside from their importance as breeders, were important as wives chiefly for their dowry of land.

Although chivalry obviously didn't eliminate all of these problems of the treatment of women, it was able to dispel some of the ideas of the "devil's Temptress" and helped define a more civilized way to treat women.


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