Medieval Knight Warfare

1609 Words7 Pages
How important was warfare to the life of the medieval Knight? Knights are one of the most universally recognised figures from the Medieval period, with most cultures being able to recognise them to this day. In recent years they have been popularised through their use in Hollywood pictures but they’ve always had a place in popular culture since their inception. However how true is the popular image of a Knights lifestyle? In reality how much time did the typical medieval knight spend in warfare? How important was this aspect of life to a medieval knight? During this essay I will attempt to effectively answer these questions. The primary function of a medieval knight is generally considered a military one and from a very young age,…show more content…
These were dictated by ‘the Knightly code’, with the Knight being compelled to "protect the weak, defenceless, and helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all’. Although this code was rarely lived up to, it remained the standard for chivalry and proper behaviour amongst the nobility for centuries. In non-military terms, the code meant that Knights had a code of ethics that dictated how they acted off the battlefield. As the Medieval period progressed, the culture changed becoming ‘more refined and elegant’. Knights were expected to understand the rules of Chivalry and courtly love. Time might be even spent on dance practise. Although such skills were obviously redundant in times of warfare they still needed to be acquired for a man to be a Knight in the medieval ages. Such skills were considered extremely important and went hand in hand with the growing status Knights were enjoying. Indeed one of the main attractions of Knighthood for many was the social status that came with it. This effectively increased as the price of being a knight rose, with ‘Kings of England making Knighthood more attractive by elevating its social status’. They accomplished this by with a ‘sort of window dressing technique, instituting fancy and elaborate rituals’ and by attempting to ’increase the prestige of Knighthood by restricting it to those with an income of £200 in lands or £1000 in trades’. The gap between the ‘gentil’ Knight and the ordinary man-at-arms then widened significantly due to such changes. The link between Knighthood and status was undeniable and due to this, factors such as chivalry and courting would have undoubtedly been of importance to
Open Document