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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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