On the last day, the lady tempts him yet again, at first he refuses: " I swear by fire and ice to be your humble knight" (l. 216-217). But then she brings out the green scarf that promises to save his life. Who could blame Gawain for wanting to save his own life? Not many men would turn down an opportunity to avoid being beheaded, and although Gawain, being a Knight of the Round Table was supposed
He challenged King Arthur and his men because he heard of their high reputation. When no one was willing to take the Green Knights challenge he began to criticize them. Sir Gawain finally stood, in the place of King Arthur, to take the Green Knights challenge; he felt that it should be him because he thought he wasn't as worthy or useful as the other knights. After taking the challenge, he was instructed to strike the Green Knight with his own ax; however, if he does so the Green Knight will do the same in return. Once the agreement was made, the Green Knight dismounted his horse and kneels before Sir Gawain exposing his neck.
During the Medieval times chivalry was one of the most important characteristics a knight could display. Chivalry was viewed as a moral obligation that involved bravery, honor, respect, and gallantry. Knights were expected to uphold this code or face social consequences for any infractions, with punishments ranging from humiliation to termination of their knighthood. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” presents the struggles knights faced with honoring the chivalrous code at all times. Sir Gawain, while imperfect, exhibits qualities expected of knights and embodies the internal struggle between honoring the chivalrous code and giving into selfish desires.
After Gawain comes clean and acknowledges his sin, the Green Knight praises him for being an honorable and chivalrous knight. He then invites Gawain to a great feast, but Gawain humbly states that he must return to his duties and continue to defend and protect King Arthur and his subjects. Sir Gawain even thanks the Green Knight and wishes him well after this frightening test of honor. He says, "I've reveled too well already; but fortune be with you; May He who gives all honors honor you well," (401-402).
As an Expert states, “Critics consider the puzzle of the theme a major asset of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and they continue to debate whether the real test was what happened at Castle Hautdesert rather than the exchange of blows, as well as whether, finally, Gawain passed or failed the tests” (Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism). The reason the critics say this is because they see that the real or possibly the real test was when Sir Gawain was in the castle getting tested by the king which turns out to be the king rather than getting swung at with an axe. Although Sir Gawain was not aware that the king was testing him under these circumstances he did want he had to do even if it meant he was a bit disloyal when taking the green sash. As Sir Gawain states, ‘“There, there’s my fault! The foul fiend vex it” (line 389)!
The Green Knight and Grendel are two characters that represent the face of evil and horror. Grendel is the typical monster. He is massive and malicious. On the other hand, the Green Knight is innovative and capable of living decapitated. Both being similar in the fact that they are meant to portray the same type of character (antagonist), they are different in the way they challenge the protagonists and how they grow as characters.
In the lines above it is seen that the Green Knight’s head had completely been severed yet he remains unshaved, it is clear now that Gawain has been deceived. Gawain continues to keep his word even though his journey is lonely and dangerous. “ […] Sir Gawain, Gods servant, on his grim quest, passing long dark nights unloved and alone […] With no friends
Deception is the act of deceiving; or the state of being deceived, which is something of very powerful nature. Deception can cause people to believe things that may or may not be true. Deception in most cases is used when an individual has a certain motive that he or she is trying to achieve. In the play Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, deception is present when Bertilak uses his wife to deceive Sir Gawain, by having her to try to seduce Sir Gawain on three different occasions. Although Sir Gawain remains loyal to Bertilak, Sir Gawain still takes the girdle; therefore, in the end Sir Gawain is left with a sense of failure, proving that Bertilak attained the motive he was seeking.
When the Green Knight gives him the girdle back Gawain says "I gladly take it and be pleased to posses, not for the pure gold, nor the bright belt itself, not the beauteous pendants/When I ride in renown, and remember with shame the faults and the frailty of the flesh perverse, how it 's tenderness entices the foul taint of sin"(2439-36). It is at this point where the girdle has changed from a symbol of life to a symbol or shame and temptation. Gawain and the Green Knight say goodbye to each other and part ways. Gawain heads home ashamed of what he had done, when he gets home the court is overjoyed that he had returned and he was alive. When the court asks of the quest that he had been on he retells how it was all set up and that he now wears the green girdle out of shame because of his actions.
The main theme of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the journey to maturity of Gawain, the hero. During the passage, Gawain goes through three tests on his development. First, Gawain shows courage and resourcefulness when he volunteers to take the Green Knight’s challenge instead of Arthur doing so. Second, Gawain shows authority, self-restraint, and integrity when he denies the sexual endeavours of the lady of the house. Lastly, Gawain shows bravery when he faces death by keeping his meeting with the Green
Relations Between Sir Gawain And The Green Knight And Christianity “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” have a plethora of connections and relations to Christianity all around its story. Some examples could be Arthurian chivalry with the pentangle of Sir Gawain's shield and Mary's face in the middle, the battle between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which took place inside the chapel of a church, and The Green Knight's decision toward Gawain in showing him mercy. These examples show only few reasons why “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” have connections and relations towards Christianity. The ideals of Christianity and chivalry are brought together in Gawain’s symbolic shield.
All in all, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight gave many fine examples of classic literature and the beauty of it. However, Gawain tried to redeem himself, but failed miserably. Redemption is achieved by falling and getting back up. Gawain tripped over his own feet, then blamed the girl who didn’t do anything. Gawain cannot teach anyone anything about redemption.
Beginning and ending with references to Troy, the poet of Gawain and the Green Knight, foreshadows the narrative with the paradox of failure being framed as greatness. Starting the poem with a discussion of the fall of Troy, speaks to the destined failure of Gawain and his quest, both literally and figuratively. Ending the poem with a reference to Troy’s greatness, presents the paradox of a fallen city, and with an army that lost the war, but, is still hailed as great. Gawain was destined to fail from the very beginning, it was an inevitable outcome.
Sir Gawain shows loyalty and humility when he makes the decision of honoring the promise he made with the Green Knight. This humility drives him to set off to pursue the Green Knight to honor the pact they agreed on. On his arrival at the Green chapel, he calls the Green Knight who emerges to greet him and to fulfill the terms of the contract (Cathell). Sir Gawain presents his neck voluntarily to the Green Knight who feigns two blows (Cooke 4). This is a commitment and a sign of piety that Gawain manifests.
Modern scholarship suggests that the anonymous poet who wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight likely had the patronage of King Richard II, as did his contemporaries Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower. In the latter years of his reign, Richard placed great value on arts and culture at court, with particular emphasis on literature. It is likely that those writers who found favor at his court would have endeavored to please and perhaps flatter the king through their work. If, as research suggests, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was first read before an audience that included Richard II, then the poet gauged the tastes of his audience well.