Modernization of Romance Elements
Modernization of romance elements in “Chivalry” by Neil Gaiman
In Neil Gaiman’s short story “Chivalry”, an elderly woman finds and buys the Holy Grail in a thrift shop to use it as a decorative element in her house. At the same time, a knight from the Round Table is in the quest of finding this sacred object of God. This short story contains many elements of romance, such as the religious quest, love and adventure and courtly and chivalric life. By modernizing romance, Gaiman suggests that love and loyalty are important values even in today’s society, that courtly and chivalric life are still alive in one way and that, unfortunately, religious quest is not as much valued as it used to be. Gaiman does this by using literary elements
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Whitaker, saying that he is “on a Right High and noble Quest”(36) looking for the Holy Grail and he also talks to her about his life and family. Also, Galaad is a perseverant knight, another valuable aspect of every man, now and then. Galaad perseveres on his quest of obtaining the Holy Grail by always coming back to Mrs. Whitaker house and doing everything in his power to win his quest. He first comes to Mrs. Whitaker house on Friday and asks for the Holy Grail but she quickly “usher[s] Galaad to the front door” (37). On Monday Galaad shows up again and he brings a gift in exchange of the Holy Grail but Mrs. Whitaker refuses the gift. He comes back on Tuesday he brings even more presents to Mrs. Whitaker and she finally accepts to exchange the Holy Grail for one of Galaad’s magical objects that she will use as decoration. Galaad never gave up on his quest, and instead of pushing Mrs. Whitaker, he comes back and tries new ways to convince her. All those qualities are valued by today’s man and woman, because every gallant, honorable and perseverant man is a respectful and loved man.
Even if some elements of romance as those mentioned above are still alive today, some of them like the religious quest are less valuable or even nonexistent. The Holy Grail, which is an important religious object, is treated different by the modern characters in the