Feudalism: system of land ownership Noblemen swear allegiance to king in exchange for land Chivalry: code of conduct developed by nobles Knights are to be brave warriors and virtuous Christians Chivalry emphasizes honor and loyalty Ideals of chivalry gave rise to legends such as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Legend of Arthur based on the life of a Celtic warrior who fought Anglo-Saxons in the 6th century He was known as the defender of England and set the ideal for knights By the 11th century the legend of King Arthur was widely known An adventure story that features kings, knights, and damsels in distress Tells of quests, battles, and doomed love Many medieval romances concern King Arthur and his knights Heroic figures and memorable deeds Quests, contests, and tests Patterned events Embellishment of legends Detailed character descriptions Plot twists Connections to Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon times…? Author unknown Tells the story of Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew He is tested by three challenges As a hero he “gains in human credibility what he loses in ideal perfection” (160) Story begins at the New Year’s Eve feast at King Arthur’s Court in Camelot Festivities are interrupted by the arrival of a massive green knight, riding a green horse, and carrying an ax…. Sounds like trouble!
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