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Chivalry and Courtly Love in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and First Knight

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In this essay, we take a look at how the writers of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and First Knight use chivalry and courtly love, as well as taking a look at how one can use satire to easily ridicule the story of King Arthur. The story of the First Knight, gives great examples of how you can show chivalry and courtly love. It shows anything from not accepting the gift of a kiss of which he rightfully earned by completing a tedious adversity from Queen Guinevere to when King Arthur gave his wife, Queen Guinevere, a spectacular white horse that faster than any stead in that time despite all that had happened prior to that time. This is equivalent to a child standing up for his crush from a bully, he could be referenced as the “knight in shining armour”. The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight shows just how devoted he is to his King by only showing Chivalry love to his Queen, despite all the advances she had made on him, even bestowing a gift of the green girdle that protects him from anything he still gave his loyalty to his King. When we take a look at the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we see just how easy it is to use satire to make fun of both of these stories. From using a “Holy Hand Grenade,” that can easily be translated into today’s time as just a regular grenade, to make fun of their religious nature at that time to crossing the “Bridge of Death” by answering 3 ridiculous questions, these scenes will fail at nothing to use satire to ridicule these stories.

The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and First Knight perfectly exemplifies the very definition chivalry love. When you think of a chivalrous person, you think of a knight riding on top his most trusted steed. In the First Knight, you’ll see that Sir Lancelot is most talented on top of a horse compared to others trying to impress the fair maiden that he may not have, but as you might expect, Monty Python and the Holy Grail found a way to satirize this by placing the knights on pretend horses as they skip to their destination that make make them look like pure, bonafide idiots as they gallop around. Usually, if you are chivalrous, you must be characterized by being brave, humility, loyalty, and manners. These descriptions are the very ground work for a knight, they live by this, but in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they make the knights seem quite the opposite. In one scene, Sir Gallahand the Chaste is seduced by women and is pulled away from by the other knights. These are all perfect example of satire, a form of writing that not only makes fun of a certain movie or genre of movie, the writers try to make a point, that being that chivalry is a bad way to love someone.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail perfectly satirized courtly love as presented in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and First Knight. In First Knight, Sir Lancelot shows to Lady Guinevere courtly love, by completing impossible to do challenges without armour, without armour with ease. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in one scene the knights of King Arthur are challenged by a deadly rabbit to a duel. One would think that the knights would easily, surely win against a tiny rabbit, but no. In this scene the knights go off and try to best the deadly rabbit, but the rabbit easily overpowers them. Instead of running and helping the injured, they ran away from the dangerous beast. This clearly will not impress anyone anytime soon, not only did they not display a brave heart, they ran away without helping anyone else. In First Knight, Sir Lancelot did his very best to win his first battle against another former knight of the round table, even when he lost his sword and his horse he did not falter. Monty Python and the Holy Grail effectively satirized this scene by displaying acts of cowardice, while making fun of their religious beliefs during that time by using the “Holy Hand Grenade”.

In all, Monty Python and the Holy Grail do a great job satirizing the chivalry and courtly love shown in First Knight and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Monty Python and the Holy Python shows us examples that chivalry is dead in today’s time by the use of comedic and downright ridiculous movie scenes. Though, in today’s world, chivalry is dead, we still can see some hints of chivalrous acts, like holding the door for a lady or supporting your lover will all your effort, what I am trying to say is that it is very easy to make fun of the old chivalrous ways of thinking.

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Chivalry And Courtly Love In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight And First Knight. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
“Chivalry And Courtly Love In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight And First Knight.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
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