STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS ON THE KNIGHT'S TALE PART I 1. Who rules Athens?
2. What relation are Hippolyta and Emily to the Duke of Athens?
3. Who rules Thebes?
4. Who greets Theseus on his triumphant return from Thebes to Athens? Why does Capaneus’ wife blame Fortune’s Wheel?
5. How has Creon outraged the Athenians?
6. As revenge for Creon's act, what does Theseus do?
7. Who finds Palamon and Arcite on the battlefield?
8. What punishment does Theseus decree for Palamon and Arcite?
9. Palamon sees _____ and thinks she is the goddess _____.
10. Arcite sees her but says "I loved her as a _____ before you."
11. _____ is released because his old friend _____ arranges to ransom him from Theseus.
12. What condition does Theseus place on this release?
13. Summarize the situations of both Palamon and Arcite:
_____ is free, but can never see his lady.
14. In your opinion, who has more to suffer, Palamon or Arcite? Whose situation is worse? Explain your answer.
PART II 15. Describe Arcite's lovesick appearance.
16. What does Mercury tell Arcite?
17. What is Arcite's plan for returning to Athens?
18. How does Palamon escape from prison?
19. How does Palamon plan to win Emily?
20. How do Palamon and Arcite meet again?
21. How is Arcite courteous and chivalrous when he accepts Palamon's challenge?
22. How are they chivalrous and courteous when they meet to fight?
23. How are Palamon and Arcite compared to animals during their battle? What are these
comparisons designed to show?
24. Who stops the battle? How does he happen to be in the immediate area?
25. Briefly summarize Palamon's speech.
26. What is Theseus' response? Why does he change his mind? What does this show you about his character?
27. What decisions does Theseus make concerning the following:
A. both knights' criminal acts?
B. both knights' desire for Emily?
C. a way to decide who wins Emily?
PART III 28. What does Theseus build for the contest?
29. Who has a temple at the eastern gate? How is it decorated?
30. Who has a temple at the western gate? How is it decorated?
31. Who has a temple at the northern gate? How is it decorated?
32. Why do you think Theseus would go to so much trouble to build such an elaborate arena?
33. Why do you think so many knights agree to fight in this tournament?
34. What mighty king fights on Palamon's side?
35. Which king fights on Arcite's side?
36. To whom does Palamon pray? For what does he ask? What response does he receive?
37. To whom does Emily pray? For what does she ask? What response does she receive?
38. To whom does Arcite pray? For what does he ask? What response does he receive?
39. Briefly summarize the gods' argument. Who will settle the dispute? What does he decide?
PART IV 40. Summarize Theseus' rules for the tournament. Why are these rules in place?
41. How is Palamon wounded and captured?
42. Who wins the battle? What happens to Arcite on his victory ride? What causes it?
43. Explain Arcite's wounds. Do you think he will recover?
44. What does Arcite tell Emily about Palamon? What do Arcite's words reveal about his character?
45. Describe the preparations for Arcite's funeral. How does the ceremony befit a prince and a knight of his status?
46. What does Theseus say about mourning and offending the dead?
47. What happens to Palamon and Emily?
48. Explain how this tale fits the description of a medieval romance.
49. What is anachronistic about the setting (time and place) and the portrayal of chivalrous medieval knights?