American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"A Knight's Tale" (2001)



Geoffrey Chaucer: Third Declamation Honoring Sir Ulrich Von Lichtenstein of Gelderland


Good People: I will not tax you further with another long list of nobility.

God knows, the nobility has taxed you long enough!!

I cannot look upon my Lord Ulrich,

For I weep to see his shining face.

My Lord is a gift to your eyes!

For we shall never, ever see his like

Upon this Earth again.


I would list his lineage if it served to honor him.

Most men here -- it's sad, but it's true --

They do look to their past to prove their worth.

They look to the deeds of their fathers.

Now, Sir Ulrich has great ancestors.

Make no mistake about THAT --

Sir Chirard von Richbach,

Duke Guelph of Saxony,

Van Misch the IV out of Brunswick --


But these great, great men pale into insignificance next to him.

I do not list them to honor him!

I list him to honor them!!1


Without further egging the custard,

And with no more ado,

I give to you the Keeper of the Flame of Aragon,

First man through the breech at the Battle of Bethlehem,

The Seeker of Serenity,

The Protector of Italian Virginity,

The Enforcer of our Lord, God!!

The One!

The Only!!

Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein!!!


1 an apt antimetabole

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.