BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
MIDDLE AGE KNIGHT vs. MODERN DAY SOLDIER
Civilization has always had some sort of defense system. In the Middle Ages, civilization had the knights to protect them, while today’s society is protected by soldiers. Over time the role has slightly adapted to accommodate different aspects and needs of society, but the general role of the position has remained the same: as a protection unit. Middle Age knights and Modern Day soldiers share many similarities and differences.
The basic role of the knight was to protect his lord and their castle. A knight in training started off as a page, or an apprentice to another more experienced knight. Through this apprenticeship knights learned the ropes. The page then moved up to the position of squire, which was still an assistant to a knight, but in addition he earned the privilege to go into battle with that knight. Eventually, with enough experience, the squire was knighted into the nobility as a soldier.
The training process of a knight was done through a series of leisurely practice exercises and events. Knights-in-training practiced their weaponry aim while hunting, participated in jousting tournaments, debauchery, and “running the ring.” All of these exercises made the knight stronger and wiser in battle situations.
Knights also followed a set of guidelines referred to as Chivalry. Chivalry guided the way men behaved during this time period. Knights were expected to show courtesy, honor, loyalty, courage, generosity, virtue, and bravery in all situations. Knights also focused on the concept of “courtly love,” which focused on the perfect relationship and how women should be treated. They went out of their way to be perceived as ‘knights in shining armor.’ They treated women with the highest respect and flattery and waged battles when they saw appropriate. So it was not uncommon to see knights fighting to defend a lady’s honor.
The role of today’s soldier is to protect his country as a whole. This varies from the knight because middle age knight could start fights whenever he deemed necessary since his sole priority was to protect the castle and his lord. Today’s soldiers are more organized and can only go into battle once it has been proclaimed. The reason for proclaiming battle has to be serious, now-a-days. While Chivalry was of the utmost importance during the Middle Ages, today more threatening reasons are necessary for wars and fights to be started. Let alone the fact that modern women, at least in the United States, are viewed equally with men, so there is no need for soldiers to raise them up on a pedestal.
The training process of a modern day soldier includes extensive basic training and exercises to improve their fighting techniques and strategies. This is slightly similar to the philosophy knights had in regards to training with the exception of an apprenticeship. ‘The more practice the better’ is the motto shared between the two time periods.
Whether it be a Middle Age knight or a Modern Day soldier, their basic goal was the same. While their perspectives and strategies greatly differed, their common goal was to serve as a defense system. Throughout the ages, civilizations have always had some sort of army present in order to ensure protection for their society.
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