Hendricks 1 Austin Hendricks Lisa Weaver 406 LNG 17 March 2011 Analysis of a Knight In modern society, true morality

is a thing of myth, existing only in stories and fairy tales. Our leaders that are supposed to be honorable and modest break the very laws they have sworn to protect, leaving the innocent to be the ones that suffer for their actions. In order for an individual to be morally upright, he must use his abilities for the good of others, not for his own benefit. When most people imagine a figure that represents true morality, someone that is selfless and altruistic, they imagine a knight. For centuries, the knight has been the epitome of righteousness and honor, devoting his life to the protecting the innocent from those that would seek to destroy them. Perhaps two of the most notable items that all knights possessed were the sword and shield. These two items represent everything a knight stands for, protecting the innocent and destroying evil in all its forms. One is an instrument of war, slaying all those that would seek to challenge the knight¶s beliefs, while the other is an instrument of peace, vital to the knight¶s protection and training. The shield represents the knight¶s most important duty, defending the innocent. Using the shield, the knight could protect himself and those around him from all forms of harm. The shield also represents the knight¶s unwavering determination and faith. Like the knight¶s shield, his faith and will are unshakable, weathering even the toughest of trials. Mythological knights such as Gawain and Lancelot from Arthurian legends possessed displayed incredible courage and

Hendricks 2 determination, undertaking and ultimately accomplishing even the most arduous of tasks. While the shield represents the knight¶s determination and duty to defend the innocent, the sword represents the knight¶s proclivity for combat, engaging in warfare for the sake of those who cannot defend themselves. In order for someone to be morally upright, he or she must not only be ready to defend their beliefs and the beliefs of others, but they should also be willing to destroy the forms of evil that would stand in their way. In several tales that depict a heroic knight, there is also a destructive and malevolent dragon. The dragon epitomizes everything the mythical knight stands against: greed, corruption, and exploitation of the powerless. The knight then uses his sword as an extension of his will in order to vanquish that corruption in all its forms. Another component of the knight that is vital to his representation of true morality is his armor. The knight¶s armor can be partitioned into both the knight¶s physical armor as well as his moral armor, the knight¶s code of chivalry. The knight¶s physical armor protects him from all forms of physical blows, whether from another knight¶s weapons or some mystical creature¶s assaults. Like the shield, the knight¶s armor allows him to continue defending the innocent despite his adversary¶s attempts to maim and kill him. Similarly, the knight¶s code of ethics functions as his moral armor. It is an impenetrable wall that protects the knight from all forms of corruption and injustice. The knight¶s code of chivalry focuses on three key aspects: duty to the innocent, duty to God, and duty to women. According to the code, the knight must always act honorably, virtuously, and courageously. He must show mercy to any vanquished foe, and can never kill those that do not deserve to die. The knight must also be willing to sacrifice his life in the defense of others. This code is what defines the knight as a symbol of morality, creating a force

Hendricks 3 that always seeks to benefit others, even if it means that he must suffer. All knights embody this code and would never turn from it or break it, for fear of the terrible consequences that would follow. The knight¶s code of chivalry also demanded that he be humble before others and not boast his accomplishments. Many mythical knights were humble and did not seek extensive praise for their achievements, such as Sir Galahad and Sir Percival. Instead, they undertook tasks for the benefit of others, not for the glory that they could receive for their actions. Today¶s society portrays the knight as the ultimate representation of morality and ethics. Using his sword and shield, the knight protects the innocent and destroys evil and injustice in the world. While the knight¶s armor protects him from physical harm, his code of chivalry protects him from corruption, defining his actions and his beliefs. The knight¶s sense of righteousness and mercy creates a heroic figure that, despite centuries of societal advancements, still persists as a symbol of honor and integrity.

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