Often styled a 'courtly romance', this tale, based on Boccaccio's Teseida, presents the story of the love of Palamon and Arcite for Emily, sister of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazones and wife of Theseus, king of Athens. The two young knights are prisoners of Theseus. In a tournament the two lovers fight for Emily. The defeated Palamon is favoured by Venus, whereas Arcite is the champion of Mars. Arcite, however, dies by a kick of his horse through the intervention of Venus and Saturn. After a period of mourning Theseus arranges the marriage of Palamon and Emily.

Of course, this tale is a courtly love story, but not a romance in the strict sense of the word. It is famous for its philosphical elements providing it with a touch of moral seriousness.

The Knight's Tale