Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » English Essay on “Chivalry” complete Paragraph and Speech for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Graduation Classes.

English Essay on “Chivalry” complete Paragraph and Speech for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Graduation Classes.

Chivalry

“Chivalry”, as an ideal of conduct, includes the ideas of courtesy, courage, magnanimity and honour. Chivalrous conduct is the sort of conduct we expect from a true gentleman. As one writer puts it : “The only chivalry worth having is that which is the readiest to pay deference to the old, protect the feeble, and serve woman-kind, regardless of age, rank or colour.” It is a noble ideal of character and conduct, which all should keep before them. For every man should desire to be brave and yet merciful, courteous to all, even the lowest, and honourable and truthful in all things, scorning all mean, dishonourable or cruel actions.

The word “chivalry” has an interesting history. It is really the same as “cavalry”; for both come from a Latin word meaning a horse. Cavalry, of course, means horse-soldiers, or mounted men. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the cavalry of the armies was composed of knights (men of noble birth); for the common people fought on foot. The whole company of the knights of a country was called its “chivalry”. For example, the Chivalry of France meant the whole body of French knights.

From this, the word chivalry came to mean the character and conduct of an ideal knight. Fighting was the chief occupation of nobles and gentlemen in the Middle Ages. So there grew up in that class—the ideal of the perfect soldier — the knight, and a certain code of honour to regulate his conduct. To become a knight was the honour which a man of noble family coveted the most ; for as a rule no man could be made a knight unless he had done some deed of bravery in battle. On being made a knight, he had to take certain solemn vows- to be loyal to his God and his king, to protect the weak and succour the oppressed, to be faithful to one chosen lady, to honour all women, to show mercy to a fallen foe, to be courteous to all, and to use his sword only in an honourable cause. The ideal knight was like the knight in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales”, who “loved chivalry, truth and honour, freedom and courtesy ; … a very gentle, perfect knight.” Of course there were many bad knights ; but this was the ideal of true knighthood. It was a distinctly Christian ideal ; and the knight ever carried with him in his cross-handled sword the Christian symbol, the Cross.

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