[DFT] Fw: [ChivalryToday] The Sociable Hero

seanan seanan at elfsea.net
Fri May 16 14:04:34 PDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott A. Farrell" <scott at ChivalryToday.com>
To: <ChivalryToday at YahooGroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 5:43 PM
Subject: [ChivalryToday] The Sociable Hero

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A Knight In Shining Armor: The Sociable Hero
By Scott Farrell
©2003 Shining Armor Enterprises

 From Achilles to James Bond, Western literature is full of bold
characters who can only be described as "larger than life." Their
strength, endurance and bravery are nothing less than super-human, but
they can also be unpredictable, egotistical and self-absorbed.

The valiant knights of medieval adventures, on the other hand, go
beyond being fierce, indefatigable warriors. As they aspire to live by
the Code of Chivalry, these characters teach us (as they did the
audiences of the Middle Ages) that there is more to being a hero than
brute force and ferocity.

One interesting example of this aspect of chivalry is found in a 12th
century poem entitled "Durmart le Galois," composed by an anonymous
French author. Although this poem is a wonderful adventure about the
son of a legendary king, it also includes several insightful statements
about the elements of chivalrous conduct. Before Prince Durmart is
knighted by his father, he is given this advice on the Knightly Virtues:

"A knight should be bold, fair, courteous and well-mannered, generous
and loyal, not foolish or rash, and should speak fairly without
discourtesy ... Make sure you are very brave and bold and forthright;
and make sure you are true, courteous and have good qualities. Don't be
a braggart or a boaster or speak too much, but be gentle of heart,
accessible and affected. Admire loyalty and generosity, for fidelity
and courtesy are becoming to a knight, for they keep and maintain
renown. Hate selfishness like death; don't have anything to do with it.
If you are untrustworthy and opportunistic, your renown will never be
bright, but rather extinguished and drowned; for an ill-natured, greedy
knight is criticized for many things which in a courteous knight would
be praised. Many a knight loses much respect through bad qualities."

The advice Durmart receives about his impending knighthood might also
apply to executives, teachers, spouses, employees or athletes. Read the
previous quotation again and replace the word "knight" with your job
title, or with the word "manager," "politician," "parent" or
"teammate." You'll find that a gallant proclamation about medieval
chivalry suddenly becomes a timely examination of 21st century ethics.

What Durmart learns is that living by the Code of Chivalry means not
just being strong and courageous, but also recognizing and respecting
the duties and obligations we all have to the community of people who
surround us throughout our lives - whether those people sit at a Round
Table, a conference table or a dinner table. A knight in shining armor
is the mighty, brave hero who can also be a responsible, considerate
and productive member of society.

(Excerpts from "Durmart le Galois" are taken from "The Ideal Knight as
Presented in Some French Narrative Poems," by Sally North in the book
"The Ideals and Practices of Medieval Knighthood," Edited by
Christopher Harper-Bill and Ruth Harvey, Boydell & Brewer, ISBN

= = = = = = =

What does a 19-year-old woman think of the Code of Chivarly?
Author Emily Stoddard examines the difference between chivalry and
chauvinism in the dating world in her article "Chivalry Today: It Needs
A Woman's Touch" at the Chivalry Today website. You'll find it by
clicking "A Woman's Touch" in the left-hand navigation bar at
www.ChivalryToday.com .

= = = = = = =

Readers are permitted and encouraged to share this article with
friends, family and co-workers as a way of promoting the value of the
Code of Chivalry in the modern world. Please include all copyright
statements and attributions when sharing Chivalry Today articles.
Copyright 2003 Scott Farrell and Shining Armor Enterprises. Visit our
website at www.ChivalryToday.com .

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