Pawn Captures Knighthood: The Tale of Sir Thopas as a Commentary on the Rise of Peasants to Knighthood and the Decline of Chivalry

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Pawn Captures Knighthood: The Tale of Sir Thopas as a Commentary on the Rise of Peasants to Knighthood and the Decline of Chivalry

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dc.contributor.author Singer, Justin
dc.date.accessioned 2010-12-15T02:36:19Z
dc.date.available 2010-12-15T02:36:19Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12-15T02:36:19Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/2354
dc.description.abstract The Tale of Sir Thopas, one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, contains many details which are inversions of the traditional portrayal of knights in chansons de geste. The reason for these inversions must be determined by interpreting the various details of the portrayal of the protagonist, Sir Thopas, within the historical context of England during the late fourteenth century. During this time period in England, the Black Death had precipitated dramatic changes in social hierarchy. The drastic decline in population led many members of the established nobility to fall into economic distress as a result of labour shortages, and the rise in the value of labour meant that individuals of common birth were no longer as ubiquitous and expendable as they had previously been. Newly wealthy non-nobles were thereby able to rise to the rank of knighthood. This paper shall examine the symbolic details in the Tale of Sir Thopas in relation to their historical context of Medieval England in the years following the plague, and thereby demonstrate that the Tale of Sir Thopas is a commentary on the rise of common born knights and the resulting decline of chivalric values. en
dc.subject knighthood, medieval, chivalry, chaucer, sir thopas, canterbury tales en
dc.title Pawn Captures Knighthood: The Tale of Sir Thopas as a Commentary on the Rise of Peasants to Knighthood and the Decline of Chivalry en
dc.type Article en


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