With Tresone Withinn’: Wynnere and Wastoure Chivalric Self-Representation, Chivalric Self-Representation, and the Law
The treason trial in W&W serves as a forum to explore the ideological contradictions between legislative and chivalric institutions. Setting the debate in the Court of Chivalry displays the allure of aristocratic culture at the same time that it portrays its inability to address contemporary problems. The failure of the king to resolve the debate reflects Edward III’s preoccupation with the French wars over legislative or judicial consistency. W&W suggests that chivalry is being made to substitute for an ideology sufficient to account for the growth of parliamentary and legal institutions, structures that cannot be reduced to individual authority.