The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale
Best of the Web
This page collects various resources on the tale, including links to modern and Middle English editions, bibliography pages, images, and articles.
Professor Arnie Sanders's page has notes on genre, form, and sources, as well as a wonderful section that links background information on the tale to "Interpretive issues," or questions. We're linking you to the Sanders's course syllabus page. Be sure to click the links for "Knight's Tale Parts 1 and 2" and "Knight's Tale Parts 3 and 4."
This page has notes on Chaucer's likely sources, genre, and themes of the tale. It links to a few scholarly essays as well.
This website covers The Canterbury Tales as a whole, but be sure to check out the two pages specifically on "The Knight's Tale."
An explanation of courtly love from the "Backgrounds to Romance" website.
Here's a link to a Google Books preview of Andreas Capellanus's De Amore, or Art of Courtly Love, the book that lays out the "rules" of the system.
Movie or TV Productions
This modern adaptation of "The Knight's Tale" sets the action in a British prison where two childhood friends are serving time. Both fall in love with Emily, who's a teacher there.
Although the plot of this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of Chaucer's version, it does take its title from "The Knight's Tale." Plus, Paul Bettany plays a wonderful Chaucer.
Here's a link to a YouTube clip of the modern adaptation by the BBC:
Listen to a reading of the tournament scene in the original Middle English.
NPR interviews Peter Bowker, who adapted four <em>Canterbury Tales</em>, including "The Knight's Tale," to a modern setting.
A picture of Emily gathering flowers for Mayday, from a fifteenth-century manuscript for Boccaccio's Teseida del Nozze d'Emilia, Chaucer's source for "The Knight's Tale." You can see Palamon and Arcite looking out at Emily from the prison window.
Here's an image of the first page of "The Knight's Tale" in the Ellesmere Manuscript, which contains a portrait of the Knight.
Resources to Help Students Learn Middle English
This page, provided by Harvard, offers ten lessons that start with a general explanation of the principles of Middle English pronunciation and move on to actual practice with the tales themselves.
This is a helpful glossary of Middle English terms often used in Chaucer. The 100 most common words are denoted by an asterisk.