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Chivalry In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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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. Sir Gawain first displays the chivalrous code when he puts his life in danger in order to protect his…show more content…
Gawain, who had struck a deal with the lord to surrender all things he received during his stay in the lord’s dwelling, fails to do so in the name of self-preservation. The lord’s wife gifts Sir Gawain a green sash rumored to protect its possessor from physical harm. Gawain, recalling his inevitable meeting with the Green Knight, decides to contradict his agreement with the lord and “hid[es] it away from all hands and eyes” (Line 1875). His decision blatantly violated the chivalrous code, “failing a moral test in agreeing to hide the girdle from the husband, with whom he has the prior arrangement to exchange winnings” (West 9). Sir Gawain disrespected the lord whom was housing him when he decided to keep the sash a secret. This decision also contradicted his oath to speak truth at all times because he did not disclose his gift the lord, and therefore indirectly lied to the lord. Sir Gawain fails to uphold the chivalrous code through his prioritization for self-preservation over honoring his commitment to fellow
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