The Canterbury Tales: The Knight’s Tale Analysis
‘The Knight’s Tale’ that is told by the Knight in “The Canterbury Tales” is a chivalric romance of courtly romance as it contains the features of chivalric romance such as a beautiful lady, a knight at her service and romantic association between the knight and the lady. The knight is shown as ever ready to sacrifice his life for the lady. The last forty-three lines of The Knight’s Tale that I have employed for analysis appear very persuasive and strong in their structure and composition. The first feature that is clearly noticeable in these lines is that they are in the form of rhyming couplets as the last words of all the lines are rhyming. Due to the rhyming couplets style, the lines appear to exist in a strong union with each other (Kluge 1915). The Knight’s Tale as a whole is formed by means of rhyming couplets that indicate the expertise and skill of Chaucer at creating poetry with poetic devices. Rhythm can also be found in the lines.
Chaucer’s style is simple and attractive. The reader is not allowed to leave the story in between. The language that Chaucer used is close to Modern English. The original poem is written in Middle English. The style of narration is very simple and Chaucer presents the story by making him disguised in the Knight’s character. In the lines that I have taken for analysis, the device of description is being employed by Chaucer, as he explains through the knight the ending of the story in a format that is descriptive. The reader gets a description of all the characters in the story (Kluge 1915). The words employed by the poet indicate the character of the Knight that is very true and noble as he employs words like faithfully, happiness, health, tenderly, matrimony, no jealousy, no distress, and merriment.
The last lines also appear as extraneous because the story is narrated with a lot of extraneous comments from the author himself. The ending of the tale indicates the myth of “They lived happily ever after”, which is given in many stories. These lines indicate a dramatic composition made by Chaucer and as a whole, these lines indicate how Chaucer has employed different characters to narrate their stories in a dramatic tone. The last lines of the tale also indicate that Chaucer makes use of the mythical stories that are present in the society of Middle age such as he makes use of gods and goddesses in the narration of the story.
The last lines indicate a happy ending of a love story. The lines indicate the emotional style employed by the knight for narrating the story (Kluge 1915). Through the narration, it seems that the story is real, as it is represented in a realistic tone. The feature of the passage that appeared most persuasive to me is the use of rhyming couplets, as they are helpful in structuring the poem. The structure of the poem as a whole is strong because of the poetic devices employed while writing.
The message that is given at the end is that there can be many problems in life and love but in the end, there will be happiness. The knight’s tale also ends in a happy ending of the story. There are poetic devices such as rhyming couplets and rhythm. The narrative is written in simple language and style.
Chaucer, Geoffrey 1949, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight’s Tale, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 78-79. Kluge, Freidrich 1915, The Language and Meter of Chaucer, Macmillan Co., New York.