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The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Friendship Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

And certeinly, a man hath moost honour
To dyen in his excellence and flour,
Whan he is siker of his goode name,
Thanne hath he doon his freend ne hym no shame.
And gladder oght his freend been of his deeth,
Whan with honour up yolden in his breeth,
Than whan his name apalled is for age.
(2189-2195)

Theseus implies that the best friend is one who dies rather than bring dishonor to his friends. He also says that a friend ought to be happy for one who dies in his youth, before old age has had a chance to dim his reputation. These ideas may seem strange to us, but they're true to ancient Greek society, in which honor and reputation were someone's most precious "possessions."

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