The "Discrete Occupational Identity" of Chaucer's Knyght
Keywords:Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Knight
AbstractPopular critical opinion favors reading the pilgrim Knyght of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales as an idealized chivalric knight; however, the pilgrim Knyght bears the hallmark of the early professional soldier that began to evolve as early as the eleventh century. Both Chaucer's experiences as a soldier, plus his exposure to English troops, seem likely sources for this portrait of the professional warrior. This essay considers the construction of the pilgrim Knyght as a professional soldier based on his warfare experience and his verbal cues.