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20170412 Culture Express

Culture Express – Is Chivalry Dead?

写稿周启航 一审:毛誉雯  二审:陈扬扬 播音:周启航、毛誉雯 剪辑:周启航


D: Hello, and welcome to today’s Culture Express. I’m Dionysus.

S: And I’m Sherry.

D: Hi, Sherry! Welcome to join us! How do you feel today?

S: Thanks. Um…my chair seems uncomfortable today.

D: Oh, I’ll fetch you a new one then.

S: Thank you very much, Dionysus.

D: My pleasure. Well, it might be a good time to mention that chivalry is our today’s topic.  

S: Chivalry these days means polite behavior usually by men towards women.

D: Though in the past it referred to a code of behavior followed by knights in the Middle Ages. It was all about honor and courage in battle – and only later on about being polite to the ladies. But you know, we are no longer living in the Middle Ages any more, are we?  

S: No. Nevertheless, so do you think chivalry is dead, Dionysus?

D: Not at all – these traditions are alive and kicking – in Poland at any rate. The BBC reporter Adam Easton saw it with his own eyes. And in Malbork in Poland they stage battle re-enactments every weekend apparently – at least in the summer months!  

S: Umm… it doesn't sound like my cup of tea. How about you?  

D: Well, I'm not sure about the archery, crossbow and jousting. But they all sound very muscular and manly. And I’d definitely enjoy the dressing up.

S: Excellent! But with the dressing up...... I'm curious. I can't imagine you as a knight in shining armor, to be honest…

D: Come on, Sherry. I'd look very appealing to any damsel in distress. A damsel in distress is a young unmarried woman in need of help.  

S: Haha, I bet you will make a very fetching – or attractive – knight. But I can tell that you do have chivalry in you, right?  

D: Um, maybe. Thanks anyway, Sherry. But at some point in the history of chivalry – prowess, or skill – on the battlefield became combined with a set of conventions governing other aspects of behavior. This included a knight's moral and religious duties and how to conduct their love affairs.  

S: Professor Laura Ashe at Oxford University explains, however, that this was suddenly claimed in the late 12th century and it made very little sense. And I agree with her. You know, if you imagine a footballer telling his teammates that being in love makes him a better footballer.

D: Well, courtly love was a social code governing behavior between aristocratic men and women that developed at the same time and amongst the same people as chivalry and the two became intertwined – or hard to separate – from then on.  

S: OK. Here comes something very interesting. A universally acknowledged novel, Don Quixote, was written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in 1605. It's a comic novel which describes what happens to an elderly knight who, his head muddled by reading too many romances, sets out on his old horse with his companion Sancho Panza, to seek adventure.  

D: Yeah, I’ve read about it. Indeed very hilarious. Well, that's the end of today's program. Please join us again soon. And… by the way, Sherry, would you like to have lunch together, maybe later?  

S: Oh, thank you. You must be a very fair knight back then.

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