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Describe key characteristics of a knight in T.H. Whites novel, The Once and Future King.

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Nick Miller Period 4W 8-25-12 Once and Future King Essay Virtue in fulfilling the code of conduct that they possess, having dignity in their position and the acts they perform, and piety towards the kingdom they serve are each values exemplified as key characteristics of a knight in T.H. White?s novel, The Once and Future King. Throughout the novel, many knights of England epitomize these principle characteristics, while some do not illustrate them whatsoever. During Arthur?s first years of being king, he established a code of conduct that must be honored and respected by everyone in his kingdom, especially his knights. They were required to demonstrate virtue in their position. One of the predominant messages that he preached was that his knights are only permitted to use Might for Right. Arthur?s taking on the idea of Might ?is this. Why can?t you harness Might so that it works for Right? ? The Might is there, in the bad half of people, and you can?t neglect it. ...read more.


He knew that there would be an ample amount of jealousy while all of the knights in his order fought for the title of the ?top knight?. In order to prevent this envy, King Arthur created a ?round table? so no one would be competing for the head of the table. Kay issued a dose of reality saying to Arthur that ?you will have all these knights in this order of yours saying that they are the best one, and wanting to sit at the top of the table? (259). Kay tells this to Arthur because he, as well as Arthur, does not want the Knights of the Round Table to be in competition. Rather, he wants them all to work together in order to carry out the justice system and honor code that he has set forth. This is one of the many reasons why the Knights of the Round Table fell apart. They all wanted to be the hero in achieving the Holy Grail and wanted to be the top knight, which ultimately assisted in the demise of the Round Table. ...read more.


The novel exemplifies the key principles of a knight by illustrating how Lancelot is a good knight with his virtue in battle, having dignity in his position and showing piety during duals. These characteristics of a good knight are what separates Lancelot and Galahad from someone like Sir Bruce sans Petie who does not honor the code of conduct set forth and does not show pride in his knighthood. He kills because he has the ability to, and that does not coincide with what is ultimately right and just in the world. Every knight has the ability to have courage and bravery, but that does not necessarily make him a pure and honorable knight. For instance, a knight could have courage and bravery, but use those qualities against the kingdom that he is serving. The characteristics of virtue, dignity and piety are key to have in a knight?s character and personality in order to distinguish his superiority over the other knights in the kingdom. T.H. White illustrated this throughout his novel, The Once and Future King. ...read more.

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