After Reno recovered from his first outing into Vingaard, he had wanted to get a head-start on the other assignment that Dr. Algrotto had given them. It was an essay taken from an old book called The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance. The actual essay was called “The Societal role of chivalry in romance: northwestern Europe” by a Richard Kaeuper. It didn’t look very long so Reno was sure he could give it a go and then brainstorm some basic study questions.
He was right. It wasn’t a very difficult read. Less than an hour later, he had finished.
It was a thought-provoking paper and tied many themes together. Weaving history with materialism, the paper traced how literature and medieval romance influenced the chivalrous tradition. As a final leap, it also connected this infusion to the wider historical movements of European states development. Deftly using violence, literary culture, and national evolution, Reno had been left with an expanded mind at the end of the short piece.
Looking at his phone’s watch, however, Reno panicked. He had to be somewhere else soon so he quickly jotted down some questions to tackle at a later time.
[Once again, these questions have been re-formulated for you, dear reader; see if you cannot answer them. Comment below with your answers if you are bold.]
(1) On page 106, it is written that “This fusion of Judaeo-Christian and Classical History gave chivalry the most ancient and the most venerable lineage possible”. Do you agree with Kaeuper’s conclusion? Give a short response as to why or why not you feel as you do.
(2) It is a contention of the paper that literature helped define the various knighthoods of medieval Europe; if this is the case, then what would this mean for today? Assuming that there is a modern equivalent of medieval romance, what area of society would that genre boost and protect?
(3) Kaeuper maintains that to Charny, individual jousting would never have the same appeal and meaning as actual bloodshed on the battlefield. If this is the case, then what do you feel this suggest about chivalry as a whole? Is such a code of violence solvable for a society or even able to act as a glue to that society? If possible, give some modern or historical examples to provide as evidence for your opinion.