Chaucer’s Knight: A Soldier of Fortune Needing Recovery
Based on several Chaucer scholars’ analyses of the description of the Knight in the general prologue, it appears as though there are not two distinct schools of thought on the controversial character, but rather two “poles,” with a significant number of scholars camped out in the gray area in between. Chaucer clearly intended his Knight to harbor some definitive personality underneath the “besmottered habergeon” – and not one word is wasted in his detailed description. No doubt the master of ambiguity intended for his character to have debatable characteristics; unfortunately, however, 600 years of separation from the original context have made Chaucer’s social commentary far more complex and contentious than he may have intended. Today’s scholars are lost in a sea of historical accounts, opinions, and controversies. For every “crusade” in which the Knight reportedly participated, there are multiple reports of the events that took place; the differing attitudes of the survivors have created three unstable English classes back home.
Not only do the Knight’s reported conquests contribute to his questionable character, but so does his manner of dress. Chivalry, love, warfare, religion – indeed all of the courtly ideals – were undergoing major reconstructions at this time. The description of the Knight’s unkempt attire was far from throwaway filler material: given the literary medieval affinity for tying appearance to personality (the Pardoner, the Prioress, and the Wife of Bath come to mind in particular), Chaucer certainly intended for his readers to take note of his hero’s shabby garb. The question arises, then: how did contemporary readers interpret his description, and did the same bipolar schools of thought on the matter exist then as they do today? With the growing bourgeoisie, the mounting expenses involved in knighthood, the upheaval of unruly peasants, the rising casualties of the Hundred Years War, and the economic costs of the Crusades, this was a time when deciphering the mindset of the people would have been nearly impossible even for a contemporary and worldly expert like Chaucer himself. Indeed, for a period so mutable, it is exceedingly difficult in hindsight to definitively say which beliefs expressed the “majority”.
The two most extreme schools of thought on the Knight’s identity are led by Derek S. Brewer and Terry Jones. Both tend to focus on two main elements of the Knight: where he has traveled (and what exactly he was doing there), and what he is wearing on the pilgrimage. Brewer stands with the William Blake and Lord Byron romantics: he views the Knight in a very quixotic, idealized light, holding that Chaucer intended him to be the chivalrous example of what all nobility should be.
Brewer believes the Knight to be a virtuous crusader, much like Peter of Cyprus as described by Guillaume de Machaut in The Taking of Alexandria: “a genuine hero in a world of action” (Brewer 81). He attributes the Knight’s shabby dress to Chaucer’s lack of sentimentality and nostalgia for the true battle-worn hero, and contends that Chaucer gives this same realistic treatment to other “idealized” characters such as the Parson, the Plowman, and the Clerk (Brewer 81). He focuses primarily on the Knight’s travels, and analyzes each of the battles listed by Chaucer, concluding that the Knight fought in each of these as a true Christian crusader. Specifically, he argues that Chaucer’s remarkably long “poetic list” of locations is primarily intended to demonstrate the Knight’s bravery (Brewer 84). Unlike Jones, he does not argue that certain locations were nothing more than bloodbaths of conquest; to the contrary, he argues that the motives of many knights were mixed, and it is not possible to generalize the events accurately (Brewer 87). He does, however, argue that the Knight stayed out of the wars in France because those were not battles over Christian ideals; the Knight’s abstention, therefore, only adds to his idealistic nobility (Brewer 87). Thus, he theorizes that Chaucer intended his Knight to be an example of the fact that courtly ideals were possible even as late as the 1390s: “not a mercenary, but a wide-ranging volunteer wherever help was needed” (Brewer 82). Brewer in fact, directly dismisses Jones’ arguments, arguing that Jones has attempted to project his own modern, Western beliefs onto a Medieval writer – a claim, in my opinion, that is not wholly without merit (Brewer 82-84).
In the same camp with Brewer, Thomas J. Hatton also believes that the Knight is an idealized crusader whose greatest virtues – worthiness and wisdom – are exemplified by his actions, and that “the case for irony in this portrait has never been impressive” (Hatton 77). His argument largely centers around the concept of worthiness: a concept which is, interestingly, the crux of both sides of the argument. Hatton holds that the 14th-century definition of “worthy” includes not only bravery, but also “skill, ability, and experience in warfare,” and that Chaucer’s excessive use of the word is intended to emphasize these attributes, rather than appeal to the reader’s sense of irony (Hatton 78). He writes that the Knight is worthy and brave, has verifiable skill on the battlefield, and acts in a way that conforms to courtly and chivalric ideals. Moreover, Hatton believes that the phrase “Though he is worthy, he is also wise” has simply been overanalyzed, and that it is only meant to convey that the Knight is brave, and also prudent (Hatton 79) – not that the terms are normally mutually exclusive. According to Hatton, Chaucer’s Knight is the model of the 1390s as proposed by Philip de Mzires and the Order of the Passion of Jesus Christ, serving his lord and fighting heathens in foreign lands (Hatton 87). Hatton notes that the Knight has never fought other Christians; his service is therefore strictly of a noble and pious nature. Instead, he has fought in three types of crusades: against the Moors in Spain, against the Saracens, and against the Pagans of Eastern Europe: all for Christian ideals, and all in the name of Christianity as sanctified by the Pope (Hatton 80-82). His “wisdom” lies in his ability to discriminate between the causes of battle, again justifying his abstention from the campaigns in France (Hatton 87).
The Jones school of thought is much darker, and lies on the other extreme. He closely examines both the uniform and the travels of the Knight, and concludes that both support his views of the Knight’s identity. He holds that the Knight is far from the courtly ideal, but is rather a bloodthirsty combatant who has taken part in the most gruesome and un-Christian battles throughout Europe, most likely as a mercenary. Jones argues that the excessive use of the word “worthy” is meant to be ironic and contrast with the true nature of his campaigns; the technique of “apparent praise before proceeding to reveal [the character’s] true nature” is one frequently used by Chaucer, and the Knight’s portrait is no exception (Jones 31). “Worthy” he argues, is not used in the general prologue to indicate that the Knight is deserving of honor. He is brave, and certainly demonstrates “skill, ability, and experience in battle,” but these are not necessarily attributes worth praising, and Jones believes Chaucer is using the term in a tongue-and-cheek manner (Jones 32). Moreover, the term “worthy” is also defined as “of high social status,” something Jones argues that Chaucer knew could have been bought by the spoils of being an unknighted mercenary (Jones 32). He likens the Knight to “Sir” John Hawkwood (there are no records of his knighthood), the leader of the feared White Company of Mercenaries, whom Chaucer would have known intimately and despised, as he was sent as a liaison to negotiate with Hawkwood in Milan (Jones 30).
Jones painstakingly details each battle – even scholars who oppose his views do not outright oppose his historical accounts – and states that even when Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales, the English had very mixed feelings about the purpose of the Crusades. In fact, many people were outright opposed to these bloody massacres. Thomas Aquinas firmly believed that Crusades were only meant to be defensive, and Roger Bacon believed them to be a ‘cruel and useless waste of time’ (Jones 35). Many were growing disenchanted by the ongoing bloodshed because the Crusades had been raging on for so long. Others felt that more attention should be drawn to the wars in France, since there was an outright shortage of knights, due to the cost of maintaining horses and armor (Jones 4-29). Still others recognized the immediate negative economic impact of the skirmishes abroad, particularly after the violent and bloody Capture of Alexandria resulted in mercenaries skipping town less than a week after the raid, and the price of spices jumping on account of burned ports (Jones 42-49).
Jones also states that not only does the Knight never once serve his lord in England, where the Calvary was badly needed to fight the French, he also fights Christians, since Russia (Ruce) had been populated by the Greek Orthodox for more than four centuries (Jones 56). Russia is not a place frequently associated with the Crusades, but rather a place associated with mercenaries looking for an ill-defended country to easily loot (Jones 58). The phrase “No Cristen man so ofte of his degree”, according to this theory, is clearly meant to be ironic – indeed, no truly Christian knight would raze an already-Christian nation, and in fact, the Knight could have actually been fighting on behalf of the Mongolian Tartars. Although this notion may sound extremely far-fetched, this is actually documented to have happened with some English mercenaries (Jones 56-60). It is possible, however, that because the Russians were Greek Orthodox, some of Chaucer’s contemporaries might have viewed the Russians as heretics, thus justifying a crusade. This view, however, would have been controversial even at the time, and Chaucer certainly would not have included the country without being fully aware of its ambiguous implications, nor would he have simply used a country because it cleverly rhymed with “Pruce” (Jones 59). Moreover, if fighting in Russia wasn’t implicit enough, Jones argues that Chaucer spells out blatantly that the Knight fought for un-Christian causes, citing his battles in the service of Palatia, a country populated by heathen – albeit Christian-tolerant – Turks: “agayn another hethen in Turkye” (Jones 87).
Jones then analyzes the Knight’s shabby garb, stating that it would have been very ignoble to keep one’s armor in such poor condition. Moreover, the fact that the Knight’s habergeon was stained from his jupon indicates that he was wearing his chain mail directly overtop of his padding, rather than over his plate armor, indicating that he was riding as light Calvary with no coat of arms (Jones 131-132). There is no mention of a helmet, coat of arms, plate metal, shield, belt, or spurs (Jones 126). In fact, in the Knight’s own tale, all the knightly equipment he is lacking is described as belonging to the noble Theseus, who rides on a golden chariot, trapped out in steel, with white horses (Jones 127). This lack of armor, Jones writes, was characteristic of mercenaries because with no coat of arms, they had complete anonymity on the battlefield, so they could fight for many different lords, leave the battle, or even switch sides during the fight (Jones 131-133). He argues that the Knight’s description would have been immediately recognizable to any Englishman, and probably would have evoked fear, as men like these were known to terrorize certain parts of the country, and such lack of equipment was “the very trademark of the new breed of professional soldier” (Jones 134).
The majority of Chaucer scholars today do not lie on one extreme or the other. While the old perspective on Chaucer was quite Blakean – that is, the Knight was thought to be “perfect” – today most (with the exception of G. A. Lester who supports Jones primarily on his garment arguments) scholars tend to lean toward the Brewer theory. However, modern scholars are not as wholly convinced of his idyllic nature, nor do they subscribe fully to the idea that the Knight was the only genuinely pious pilgrim on the trip. While Lester argues that there is strong evidence to suggest that the Knight was indeed a mercenary, many still believe otherwise. Lester cites the widely-read medieval military manual “De Re Militari” by Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a manual he asserts that Chaucer must have read, as it was considered “the bible of warfare throughout the middle ages – the soldier’s equivalent of the Rule of St. Benedict” (Lester 25-28). This Italian piece makes it clear that poor maintenance of armor by noble knights was absolutely not tolerated (Lester 25-29).
On the other hand, John Pratt questions Jones’ take on the concept of the nobleman altogether. Pratt questions Chaucer’s knowledge of the Crusades, stating that some campaigns simply cannot be dated accurately, and that one cannot even be certain that Chaucer had a full understanding of what constituted a “crusade” (Pratt 9). He argues that the datable campaigns in which the Knight took part were all legally crusades because in all instances the Church or Christians were threatened; however, there probably were mixed feelings among Chaucer’s contemporaries (Pratt 16). Chaucer did not include these battles unintentionally, nor did he include them to make the Knight appear to be a monster, but rather to portray the Knight as a complex character, not the flat, idealistic projection that modern romantics try to project upon him (Pratt 10-11). Pratt argues that while some of Jones’ historical accounts are quite accurate, others are subject to debate; in particular, he argues that “Ruce” may in fact be the name of a pagan city, rather than a reference to the entire Russian nation (Pratt 11, 13). Regardless of Pratt’s views of the Knight’s campaigns, he does agree that the Knight was probably paid for his services: all men of service received monetary compensation (Pratt 20). Altogether, this creates a much more complex character in that the Knight is clearly not idyllic, but still largely adheres to chivalric code and is quite pious. Pratt’s argument on the legality of these campaigns hinges on his belief that the Knight never fought against Christians, and so he was not a mercenary, despite receiving remuneration for his services (Pratt 17). Moreover, Pratt holds that the Knight was portrayed sympathetically by Chaucer, and that by expecting criticism of the Knight from his readers (as Jones believes), he created a complex character with whom other nobles and even the bourgeoisie could identify.
Emerson Brown, Laura Hodges, and Maurice Keen also tend to lean more toward the Brewer theory. Maurice Keen’s thesis is classical: he argues that the there were strong positive sentiments that supported the continuation of the Crusades. Consequently, the Knight is a Chaucerian hero with chivalrous characteristics. His argument falls short, however, because he fails to investigate the actual crusades in which the knight took part. Instead, he takes Chaucer’s praise at face-value (Keen 45). He argues that many English knights participated in many of the listed crusades, but not one had participated in all of them, as Chaucer’s has, making Chaucer’s Knight the clearest example of a “varay parfit gentle knight” (Keen 46-47). Keen likens the Knight to the Plowman and the Parson, individuals who set an example of living that too few follow (Keen 47).
Brown and Hodges are less convinced of his chivalry. Brown also cites Guillaume de Machaut, stating that the crusade in Alexandria was “most disgraceful,” and that the frequent use of the word “worthy” loses its positive meaning by the end of the prologue (Brown 184, 187-188). Chaucer instead intended his reader to see the Knight as quite noble and pious, but by no means ideal, as estate satire is “fairly simple-minded in its assumptions about ideals and failure to live up to them” (Brown 192).
Similarly, Hodges believes that the Knight was meant to be a positive character, but more realistic than a two-dimensional idea. Her thesis focuses on the Knight’s armor, indicating that this poorly-kept attire would have been frowned upon, but that it would have also been much more believable and expected of an old and battle-worthy knight – one who lives the “active life” (Hodges 279). Indeed, shining armor would have been afforded by only the truly well-off knights, not the real fighting men (Hodges, 276). Even the powerful Templars were noted for their dusty apparel and unkempt hair (Hodges 277). She argues that Chaucer wanted his readers to see the Knight as noble, pious, and chivalrous, but also as worldly and realistic.
The final school of thought rests almost entirely – and deliberately – in the middle. Charles Mitchell seems to be quite neutral on the Knight’s identity, arguing that Chaucer consciously selected battles that resulted in mixed feelings by the English because he wanted them to see the Knight as a man so complex that they could identify with his strengths and weaknesses, rather than praise or condemn him for his unambiguous positive or negative attributes. Chaucer distinctly omits the use of the word “virtuous” to describe the Knight. He attributes this quality instead to the Parson and the Friar: the former genuinely, and the latter ironically (Mitchell 66). He argues that these men are clearly at odds with one another, and Chaucer’s language leaves no ambiguity to their respective natures, but he chooses instead to describe the Knight using negative space; that is, he describes the Knight in terms of the attributes he refuses to reveal to the reader. Instead of “virtuous,” Chaucer calls the Knight “courteous” and “worthy” (Mitchell 67).
The romantics would argue that “courtesy” simply means that the Knight adheres to the practices of true chivalry, while the Jones camp contends that the term means that the Knight adheres to military code – in other words, he does not use racial slurs or foul language, as these were punishable by death (Mitchell 67; Jones 33-34). “Worthy,” as we have already seen, has multiple meanings, but Mitchell believes this was not an accidental term employed by Chaucer, and it would have been equally vague in his own time (Mitchell 67-68). The fact that the Knight has sparked such debate is an indicator that Chaucer does not want the reader to pin him to one pole or the other (Mitchell 66). This, he believes, was Chaucer’s intent: to create an extremely complex and realistic figure that readers could judge as they chose. While Mitchell is often lumped in with Jones in his analysis of the Knight, his views seem to be unique in that he does not actually agree with one side or the other – he simply argues that the Knight is too complex to be either the ideal, or a mere callous warrior.
From the aforementioned theses, it is clear that the Knight is in fact a very complex character. Simply the fact that his description sparks so much debate today is an indicator that Chaucer probably did not intend his Knight to be a two-dimensional man, whether the ideal or a mercenary. I personally tend to agree with Jones’ contention that the Knight was in fact a professional soldier. I believe, however, that Jones has tried to project his own pacifist views upon Chaucer, which I feel is neither justified, nor accurate. Most scholars, whether they agree or disagree with Jones’ thesis, seem to agree that he has done his homework, and that his accounts of each crusade are well-researched, and probably accurate; however, in every instance where there are conflicting views by Chaucer’s contemporaries, Jones has chosen to err on the side of disagreement with the crusade in question. Some of these instances, I believe, are warranted. For example, it seems clear to me that in retrospect, many of Chaucer’s contemporaries believed that the conquest of Alexandria was brutal and unjustified, or at the very least, went horribly wrong. Chaucer was involved in accounting, so you can bet that he took note of the skyrocketing prices of spices, at the very least; not to mention the fact that the massive casualties among Christian civilians, particularly women and children, left an ill-feeling in the stomachs of the English once the details of the campaign were revealed. Moreover, in the weeks that followed, after a large percentage of mercenaries fled, they could no longer maintain control of the city. Guillaume de Machaut’s account was known by many, and respected by Chaucer (Jones 46), so it seems sufficient evidence to me that at least one campaign was not wholly – in Chaucer’s opinion, at least – in support of the Christian cause.
I do not, however, feel that Jones’ view on Russia is a fair projection on Chaucer. I certainly do not subscribe to the conspiracy-like theory that the Knight fought on behalf of the Tartars. While Chaucer may have even been aware that some English knights did just that, I believe Chaucer would not have made the assumption that his entire audience would have the same knowledge. Historically, there were campaigns that took place in Russia: in the generation of Henry III, Russia was declared a heathen country because it was Greek Orthodox, not Roman Catholic. There was not, however, major campaigning against Russia during Chaucer’s time. After Pope Innocent IV’s missionaries in Russia were slaughtered by the Mongolian Tartars, very few Englishmen wanted to set foot in that region, and the Bishop of Winchester even declared that the Tartars and the Russians would destroy each other “like dogs” if the English just stayed at bay. Consequently, I believe Chaucer chose Russia as a location for the Knight’s campaigning in order to illustrate the complexities of his character. In other words, Chaucer knew that Russia would be a point of contention among his readers.
I do believe that with regard to the Knight’s fighting in Turkey, the phrase “another heathen” was not accidental. I believe Chaucer wanted us to see that the Knight opted to fight for at least one cause strictly because of the potential spoils, not because he was a noble Christian. In fact, it seems to me that Chaucer explicitly states that the Knight fought for both Christian and heathen causes: “As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse” (line 49).
I tend to agree with Jones that Chaucer sets the Knight up much like other non-polar characters. Chaucer often feigns ignorance during many of his descriptions, pretending to take different characters’ attributes at face-value. He does this with the Prioress, for example, whom the narrator describes as dainty, courtly, concerned for small animals, and in love with Love – even though Chaucer is cleverly implying that her courtly and dainty mannerisms are not appropriate for a nun, her concern is misplaced, and her love is misdirected. With the Knight, he employs similar mechanisms, though much more subtly. Chaucer’s contemporaries would have seen the Prioress as silly and girlish, and only the most shallow of nobles would have seen her behavior as appropriate.
The Knight, however, is more obscure. First of all, the concept of knighthood during the 14th century was simply falling apart. The cost of knighthood was such that many young men did not want to be knighted because of the financial burden of maintaining regulation armor and a horse, not to mention the fact that there was a war in France and crusading campaigns abroad, which invariably meant certain death. Second, there were many mercenaries tearing up the countryside, as well as fighting for and against the English, so public opinion about these soldiers could not have been uniform. Third, modern readers must look back through 600 years of history to make sense of the Knight, and unfortunately, the romantic period has given modern readers an unrealistic view of what that class really was. Today we don’t have “romantic” views of nuns, so we can clearly see that the Prioress was an inappropriate example of her class. Most readers, however, do not have a clear historical view of the Crusades, and our collective view of knights is horribly skewed by Byronesque poems about shining armor and courtly favors. Thus, when Chaucer calls the knight “worthy” for the first time, I believe he is setting the reader up to believe this is a genuine, noble knight. From a poetic standpoint, his second use of the word in line 47 is simply too soon of a repeat to even sound melodic. If you read those lines aloud, the second and third instance of “worthy” jump out, and I believe this was done to call the reader’s attention to the fact that this word does in fact have multiple meanings, not all of which are good. I think this view is justified since Chaucer follows up his this third instance of “worthy” in line 50 by mentioning the campaign in Alexandria. In other words, by the time we get to line 51, Chaucer the narrator still sees the Knight as the romantic courtly ideal, but Chaucer the author sees the Knight as a mercenary. I believe Mitchell is correct in asserting that Chaucer says a lot by what he intentionally does not say. Courtesy and worthiness are invariably ambiguous terms, whereas nobility, virtue, and piety are not; yet Chaucer deliberately chose indefinite attributes.
Jones also asserts that the Knight fought only in failed and unjustified campaigns. Again, I think this is an unfair projection of Jones’ pacifist views on Chaucer, however, to say that all of the campaigns were justified and in support of the Christian cause as Brewer and Hatton do is, I think, foolishly idealistic. Instead, I think Chaucer chose many locations that resulted in mixed feelings. It is likely that many of these campaigns were viewed as successes, like Lithuania and Granada. This seems to indicate that the Knight was whole-heartedly a mercenary; he just happened to fight on the side that the English majority agreed with on occasion. Jones sees him as a bloodthirsty, heartless warrior – I see him as a businessman who doesn’t take sides, but chooses instead to go where the money is because he has a family to care for. It is certain, however, that Chaucer was a man who knew his Bible, and probably a great deal of Apocryphal works, as well. Thus, the indication that the Knight fought wherever the money was, refusing to take sides, would be seen as a very negative attribute – after all, Apocryphal knowledge would have people believe that the angels who refused to take sides during the Revolution of Lucifer were also condemned to Hell. Perhaps Chaucer used the Knight as a reminder that not knowing where your beliefs lie is just as bad as being an outright sinner.
The final important attribute of the Knight is clearly his armor, or lack thereof. Many scholars agree that Jones is correct in that the reversal of underarmor is characteristic of mercenaries. Some, like Hodges, argue that this was not a behavior exclusive to mercenaries, and that many knights participated in this practice because they simply could not afford better garments. Medieval literature frequently tied behavioral attributes to attire, and I do not think that Chaucer would have made only one character in his entire prologue wear clothing that is “realistic” to the occupation, as opposed to clothing that conveys a message, as every other character’s outfit does. The Knight is, without a doubt, a shabby dresser. Chaucer outright says that the Knight is “besmottered” and that his padding is worn in the wrong order. Jones argues that many contemporaries would have read this and immediately associated the Knight with the dreaded countryside-plundering mercenary; however, I do not think this is necessarily the case. Again, I think that Chaucer meant for his attire to be somewhat unclear. Perhaps he intended the armor to be symbolic of the Knight’s soul – dirty, but capable of being cleansed.
There is no doubt in my mind that Chaucer intended the reader to see the Knight as a mercenary – just not necessarily an inherently bad person. After all, the Knight is on pilgrimage, and his armor is apparently dirty because he has just been on a campaign. To say that Chaucer wanted us to see the Knight as strictly a murderous combatant, I believe, does not give Chaucer enough credit as a poet and a religious intellect. Unlike the Pardoner (whom I believe Chaucer wants us to see as evil and without redemption), and the Wife of Bath (who might only be on pilgrimage to make her husband jealous), the Knight is not trying to gain monetary goods or power by traveling to Canterbury. In fact, given his long history of campaigning, it seems that this pilgrimage might be the one thing he has done in a long time that does not directly center upon reaping the rewards of warfare. Chaucer clearly wants us to see the Knight as a confused, ambitious, and complex professional soldier who has killed many in battle, but I believe that he also wants us to see the Knight as a man who is not inherently evil. The Knight’s last campaign had him fighting alongside heathens in Turkey – perhaps the Knight realized that he may very well gain the world in battle, but lose his soul in death. If this is the case, then it makes sense that he might have immediately dropped his shield and helmet after the battle (if he in fact had these items), and headed straight on pilgrimage to redeem himself – dirty attire, dirty soul, and all.
Brewer, Derek S. “Chaucer’s Knight as Hero, and Machaut’s Prise d’Alexandrie.” In Heroes and Heroines in Medieval English Literature: A Festschrift to Andr Crpin on the Occasion of his Sixty-fifth Birthday. Ed. Leo Carruthers. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer / Boydell and
Brewer, 1994: 81-96. Hatton, Thomas J. “Chaucer’s Crusading Knight, a Slanted Ideal.” Chaucer Review 3 (1968): 77-87.
Jones, Terry. Chaucer’s Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980
Lester, G. A. “Chaucer’s Unkempt Knight.” English Language Notes 27:1 (1989): 25-29.
Pratt, John. “Was Chaucer’s Knight Really a Mercenary?” Chaucer Review 22, #1 (1987): 8-27.
Keen, Maurice. “Chaucer’s Knight, the English Aristocracy and the Crusade.” In English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages. Ed. V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne. London: Duckworth, 1983: 45-61.
Brown, Emerson. “Chaucer’s Knight: What’s Wrong with Being Worthy?” Mediaevalia15 (1993 [for 1989]): 183-205.
Hodges, Laura. “Costume Rhetoric in the Knight’s Portrait.” Chaucer Review 29, no. 3 (1995): 274-302.
Mitchell, Charles. “The Worthiness of Chaucer’s Knight.” Modern Language Quarterly 25 (1964): 66-75.
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