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Western Civilization Fairytales? Slaying dragons, fighting for honor, rescuing damsels—surely, these must make a knight. Georges Duby, in his work William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry, challenges this stereotypical fairytale presumption by examining the demands and intricacy of the knight’s code of chivalry. This code, which played such an influential part in the choices made by the knights of old, still echoes in current customs. Completely immersed in the idea of chivalry from …

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…did not constantly concern themselves with the female’s wishes, as they divided themselves between respect for the female and their own self-interests. Though the knight could not have attained perfection, they all strove to uphold the code of chivalry—loyalty, championship, generosity, and courtesy. These qualities ruled their lives and shaped them into the heroes of their age. So deep was the influence made by the knights that society continues to see the results.