| Quote #4
We stryven as dide the houndes for the boon,
Arcite compares himself and Palamon to hounds that fight over a bone, only to see it snatched away by a bird. His point seems to be that he and Palamon should pay attention to the object of their affections rather than to who gets her or doesn't. His declaration that at the king's court it's "ech man for hymself" doesn't mesh very well with the idea of sworn brotherhood. With this statement, then, he's effectively declaring their oath meaningless.
| Quote #5
But to th'effect, it happed on a day
Immediately following the falling-out between Arcite and Palamon, the tale gives us an example of another childhood friendship – one that's lasted for many years. Palamon and Arcite's apparently weak bond appears all the more feeble in comparison.
| Quote #6
For in this world he loved no man so,
It may sound strange to our modern ears to hear a friendship between two men described in these terms of tender love. But describing friendships between men this way is a tradition that medieval writings inherit from the classical era. In fact, ancient Greek philosophers believed that the friendship between two men was the strongest and most sacred bond of all human relationships. Theseus and Perotheus's friendship is what a friendship should be, and you get the feeling that, unlike Arcite and Palamon, they wouldn't abandon it for anything.