The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale
Friendship Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
[He] seyde, 'Arcite, false traytour wikke1
Now artow hent that lovest my lady so,
For whomthat I have al this peyne and wo,
And art my blood, and to my conseil sworn,
As I ful ofte have seyd thee heerbiforn.'
What does Palamon mean by saying that Arcite is sworn to his "conseil"? One possibility is that he means Arcite is sworn to keep his counsel, or secrets. But what's not clear is why both Palamon and Arcite accuse one another of betraying their secrets by loving Emily.
'For I defye the seurete and the bond
Which that thou seist that I have maad to thee.
What, verray fool, thynk wel that love is free,
And I wol love hir, maugree al thy myght!'
Just as he did when they were in prison together, Arcite rejects the bond between himself and Palamon in favor of love. By saying "love is free," Arcite means that no one can forbid or prevent someone from loving whom he wishes. We can't argue with him there.
'And ye shul bothe anon unto me swere,
That nevere mo ye shal my contree dere,
Ne make were upon me, nyght ne day,
But been my freendes in al that ye may.'
Theseus makes Palamon and Arcite promise not to wage war against him, concluding by saying they must be his "freendes." By "freendes," then, Theseus really means political allies, and adds another kind of relationship to the form friendship takes in this tale.