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The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Competition Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Neither of us in love to hyndre other,
Ne in noon oother cas, my leeve brother,
But that thou sholdest trewely forthren me
In every cas, as I shal forthren thee, --
This was thyn ooth, and myn also certeyn.
(277-281)

Palamon and Arcite have sworn not to "hyndre," or stand in one another's way, in love. In every "cas," by which Palamon probably means dispute, the two are to help one another out. Instead, they find themselves in competition for the same woman, a situation that puts them in direct conflict with their oath. Thus their competition is not only with each other, but between their love for Emily and their oath to one another.

Quote #5

'O deere cosyn Palamon,' quod he,
'Thyn is the victorie of this aventure.'
(376-377)

Arcite declares Palamon the victor in their battle because he "gets" to remain in prison, and therefore, in sight of Emily. By calling Palamon's position a "victorie," Arcite reveals that he explicitly thinks of his dispute with Palamon as a competition, with Emily as its prize.

Quote #6

'Allas,' quod he, 'Arcite, cosyn myn!
Of al oure strif, God woot, the fruyt is thyn.'
(423-424)

Palamon calls the competition with Arcite over Emily "strif," or hard labor, the fruit of which is Emily. Arcite calls it an "aventure," or adventure-filled happening, with Emily as its prize. In both cases, the knights depict it in physical terms. The implication is that they will use their bodies to determine the winner of the competition.

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