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Home:The Princess, The Knight, And The Dragon

 

The Princess, The Knight, And The Dragon 

The human institutions of nobility and dignity are often
criticized by satirists. These satirists see these as
arbitrary rules that man has placed on himself that do not
help, and may even hurt, in the long run. This point is
capitalized upon by Stoddard Malarkey in his poem "The
Princess, The Knight, and The Dragon". In the poem,
Malarkey's opinions can clearly be seen through the
examples of the characters; Princess Miranda, the maid, and
the knight.
 
The character of Princess Miranda is the obvious
representative of ideas of dignity and nobility. She, fully
aware of her own danger, does what the code of nobility
that she follows dictates her to do; ignore the threat of
Faggon the Dragon. She ignores the natural, logical warning
of fear that she has in order to strictly follow her code.
It is because of this that she is taken prisoner and
eventually eaten. If she had not been so eager to be
courageous, she would have run home and avoided being
captured by Faggon.
 
The princess is directly contrasted by the characters of
the maid and the knight. Where the princess follows her
code of noble action and is punished, the knight and maid
undertake unchivalrous actions and are rewarded. Both the
maid and knight follow the natural instinct that is ignored
by Miranda. Faced with the same threat the maid and the
knight both react in a logical manner. They see that there
is little chance of being in any way triumphant over
Faggon, and violate the code of nobility for something that
is more important to them, their lives. As such, they
manage to survive and live out the rest of their lives in
happiness, where the Princess is forced into a life of
torture and finally death.
 
Malarkey effectively conveys his point through the
consequences of his characters. Despite its light, Horatian
nature, it conveys the message that codes of honor and
other such rule systems only serve to endanger man. He
displays that dignity can sometimes turn winning situations
into losing ones. 

 




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