Chivalry
(knightly conduct -- originally Cheval meant warrior on horseback from French for "horse")

Chivalry- the code of the Knight on Horseback, beginning in the Middle Ages (the code of the Warrior was part of the Dark Ages). The knight must


a. swear fidelity to God and King
b. be truthful, even  to lady loves
c. protect the weak in distress
d. be chaste (Exhibit Caritas or Spiritual Love, not Cupiditas or Earthly Love)

As King Arthur says in Tennyson's Idylls of the King:
I made them lay their hands in mine and swear
To reverence the King, as if he were
Their conscience, . . .
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
. . . To honor his own word as if his God's
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity
To love one maiden only, cleave to her,
And worship her by years of noble deeds . . ."

Courtly Love

Courtly Love -  a code of Love flourishing in Chivalric times. The male lover:

a. is bewildered, helpless, exhibiting symptoms of love such as pallor, loss of appetite, sleeplessness and sighing
b. He is inspired to great deeds to prove his love
c. He and his Lady (who may be married to someone else) swear each other to secrecy and remain faithful in spite of all obstacles
d. He will do whatever asked of him by his lady
According to the strictest conditions of Courtly Love, true love was held to be impossible in the married state. It was illicit and sensual (Cupiditas), but later became, at least in literature, a form of Caritas, or spiritual love, because the love the knight showed for his lady was chaste and represented his adoration of the Virgin Mary.
The code of courtly love was at basic odds with chivalric or knightly conduct which required honesty to everyone, so the secrecy of Courtly Love was not allowed. Knights were therefore conflicted.

The peasants could do what they wanted.

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Just For Fun Check-up on Courtly Love

In the following pull down menus choose three situations for the chivalric knight following the conventions of chivalry or courtly love, and for each choose an appropriate response for the knight.

1.

2. 

3.