In "The Knight's Tale," death is closely connected to love on multiple levels. Like love, says Theseus, death is the great equalizer. It's an experience that every human – whether rich or poor, fat or thin, smart or silly – will someday endure. Like love, death makes the characters feel powerless over their fates. Like other stories that fall into the genre of courtly love, "The Knight's Tale" is in the habit of talking about love in terms of death. Yes, Palamon and Arcite seem like drama queens when they complain that their love of Emily "slays" them, that they will "die" if separated from her. But the placement of this metaphor next to very literal (and sometimes gory) deaths brings out the similarities between these two kinds of death in an original way.
"The Knight's Tale" portrays love and death as similar in the way in which they happen to everyone, and in which we have no control over when and where they strike us.
Theseus's speech about the proper response to death reveals a worldview that values reputation and honor over life itself.