Understanding Chivalry: A Noble Code of Conduct

Categories: Chivalry

Ever wondered about chivalry? It's this ancient concept that's rooted in the qualities expected of a top-notch knight. You know, things like honor, courtesy, courage, justice, and being ready to lend a hand to those in need. It's like being a real stand-up guy, doing noble deeds without batting an eye. Honore de Balzac summed it up nicely, saying, "the motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one."

The Essence of Chivalry

So, what's the deal with chivalry? Originally, it had something to do with the word "calvary," but nowadays, it's more about having a virtuous way of doing things.

No negativity attached, unless, of course, you called someone "chivalrous" back in Old Anglo-Saxon times! Generally, though, people feel good vibes about it. It's this cool idea of how you should behave, covering a bunch of virtues beyond the basic definition.

The Back in the Day Chivalry

If you hop back to medieval times, chivalry was the real deal for every dude who got the noble treatment or lucked out by being born into it.

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Picture this: knights, these horse-riding badasses, not only rocked it on the battlefield but also had this sense of righteousness. They were like the A-team of knights, excelling in sword skills and being as quick on a horse as they were to help out a damsel in distress. Chaucer, in Canterbury Tales, painted the picture of an ideal knight who "loved chivalry, truth and honor, freedom and courtesy; .

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.. a very gentle, perfect knight."

The Scoop on Chivalry Today

Now, some folks might say chivalry is six feet under or just catching a bad case of the flu. But, hold on, as long as someone's out there righting wrongs, chivalry's kicking. Sure, it might not be as obvious nowadays with all the rudeness flying around, but scratch beneath the surface, and you'll find it.

Bring Back the Chivalry

Here's the thing – we could use a bit more chivalry in our lives. Imagine if every guy on the block aimed to be a big-hearted, noble dude. Cheating, debt, adultery, stealing – all those nasty things could take a hike. We'd have a squad of folks staying true to their beliefs, being honest, courteous, and going all-in for what's right.

Picture a world where chivalry runs the show, like the good old days of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere. Maybe modern America could take a leaf out of John Bowring's book with his poem on chivalry:

Now tell me what is chivalry?
To battle in the foremost fight
For anything—for wrong—for right,
For some fair lady's scornful smile,
For what is virtuous, what is vile,
Come, tell me, is this chivalry?

No! in the men for truth who pant,
In wretchedness and woe and want,
Who bear the world's contemptuous hate,
With patient soul, with heart elate.
No! in the woman in whose home
No peace is found, no comforts come,
Yet bends in silence,—feeling still
'Tis God's most kind, most holy will.
This—this is truest chivalry!”

Chivalry boils down to all the good stuff – virtue, goodness, and holiness – rolled into one classy code of conduct.


In a nutshell, chivalry, with its roots in the virtues of an ideal knight, has come a long way from the medieval times. Even if some folks claim it's on life support, chivalry isn't giving up the ghost. It's just adapting to the times, still guiding us toward virtuous conduct. The call for a more chivalrous society is loud and clear, urging us to prioritize noble actions over selfish pursuits. By embracing the core values of chivalry, we can set our sights on a higher moral standard, creating a world filled with honor, courage, and justice.

Updated: Jan 10, 2024
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Understanding Chivalry: A Noble Code of Conduct. (2016, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/chivalry-essay

Understanding Chivalry: A Noble Code of Conduct essay
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