Bertilak's Fatherhood In Sir Gawain

286 Words2 Pages
During the time Gawain stayed in Lord Bertilak’s home, he showed loyalty to him as well. The only time he faltered was when Lady Bertilak offered him a green girdle that she claimed had the potential to ensure his life. During Gawain’s stay in the castle, he and Bertilak have an agreement that they will exchange everything they earn at the end of the day. While Bertilak was hunting wild animals such as deer, boars, and foxes; Sir Gawain was left in the house with Bertilak’s wife. Throughout his stay, Bertilak’s wife tempts him to sleep with her, but never succeeds. At most, she gives him small kisses. At the end of the day, as promised, the two men would exchange what they received: Bertilak would give Gawain the animal that he hunted that day and Gawain would return the kisses Bertilak’s wife gave…show more content…
Although seemingly small, Sir Gawain consciously returned everything he received and the only time he does not is when Bertilak’s wife gives him a lifesaving girdle. The author makes a point to make sure the reader knows that Gawain means to keep the girdle and will therefore destroy his loyalty to Lord Bertilak. Why would Gawain uphold the values of knighthood so high only to throw it away in such a greedy and selfish manner? Perhaps it is to show that even the most ideal knights falter in a moment of weakness. Although Gawain consciously makes a disloyal decision, it is clear that Gawain is not a bad knight. The author chooses to put this portion into the story because it shows that no knight, no matter how hard he tries, can uphold the values of ideal knighthood
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