LIBS1870 The Middle Ages And The Modern World: Facts And Fiction


Take one fictional film about medievalism and assess the impression it gives of the Middle Ages to your audience.



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The Knight’s Tale falls under the American medieval comedy-comedy category. It is set exclusively in middle age.

French (2018). The story was told in anachronism with modern references. This is one characteristic that medievalist films have.

This essay will concentrate on the images of the Middle Ages that the film presents to its audiences.

While discussing the images of the mid-ages, many aspects will also be discussed in relation to these images.

Following the entire discussion, a summary will be made of the most important aspects in the movie.


Before we get into the discussion, let’s not forget that the film was shot in middle-age.

French (2018). The main feature of middle age is the constant battle among dynastic royalty families to attain hierarchical superiority.

The Knight’s Tale is fiction, and the story is set sometime before the actual time it was written.

To be precise, the movie was told in medieval England.

But the story is about ancient Greece and the people.

The film covers the most significant aspects of medievalist movie, as well as the historical fiction aspect (Hauser, 2005).

However, the inclusion of classic rock music is an indication of the movie’s total departure from medieval movies.

The opening credits of the movie, including its chronology, casting, and costumes, are misinterpreted. It becomes a mere blockbuster because it takes over the historical essence.

Brian Helgeland completely ignored many aspects of middle life while making the film.

French (2018). This includes the neglect of poverty and squalor during middle age.

A second aspect of Christianity that is considered to be a major driving force in Europe was also not depicted in this movie. This included aspects like plague and war, which are main themes in middle age (Hauser (2005)).

The Knight’s Tale, as its name suggests, is about a group composed of peasants headed by William Thatcher (played well by Heath Ledger). William’s Lord dies from taking too many blows to the head jousting.

William then decides to start jousting for his master, while wearing the armor of that master.

William was not rewarded with the money and other rewards of the middle age.

William continued to joust for more money, even after he won the tournament (Hauser (2005)).

William, Wat, Roland and Wat were on their way to attend the next tournament when they met two characters. The historical Geoffrey Chaucer was one of them (Hauser (2005)).

William and his trainers decided that Geoffrey Chaucer would be the writer of writ.

William was referred to as the Ulrich Von Liechtenstein in Gelderland.

This is yet another deviation from the characteristics of medievalist films, as there was no Gelderland in Middle age (French 2018).

However, the costumes of each character were just as accurate as those worn by middle-aged men.

While the women and noblemen were wearing silk dresses made of satin, they were also wearing brightly colored silk dresses. The peasants wore bland colors like grey, brown, white, and so on (French 2018).

The movie, which was surprisingly accurate, adopted the correct middle-age dress code. This is in contrast to the song and other factors.

As the movie progresses, the movie is shown to be suffering from the endless narrative, which leads to boredom for the audience (Hauser, 2005).

Some may argue that the movie tried to break the mold of the medieval movie genre with a classic soundrock setting.

While it might be said that the movie broke the rules of medieval cinema, there are still many things that can be seen that make the movie nonmedievalist.

The above analysis shows that, despite having sword fighting scenes in the movie, there are very few images from which to get an idea about middle age. (Hauser and Co., 2005).

Except for the historically accurate dress code that was crafted to reflect the styles and dressing norms of middle-age, few scenes can be found with an authentic medieval setting.

French, 2018. The movie did attempt to use the middle-aged setting to amuse its audience.

The technical accuracy and precision are not the only things that make the movie great. A viewer can also enjoy the romance in a historical setting with Queen’s music.


To conclude, it is justified to say that the story of the knight’s adventure partly falls under American medieval adventure-comedy. This is because the film is set exclusively in middle age.

In the entire movie, there are numerous errors. The most important is the incoherent accent of the characters.

The whole story was told with anachronistic tones and modern references, which is one the most distinctive characteristics of medievalist films.

This essay highlighted the images of the Middle Ages that the film shows to its viewers.

While discussing the images of middle age, many aspects will be addressed in relation to the middle of ages. The analysis has shown that the film portrays too few of the characteristics of medievalist films.

Some images could confuse the viewer into believing that those elements are appropriate adoption.

Refer to

A Knight’s Tale.

Social History of Art Volume 4: Naturalism. Impressionism. The Film Age.

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