Comparing Societal Expectations In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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People put on mask whenever revealing their genuine identity or behavior can cause issues. They are afraid of the aftermath that their actions might cause. This is the situation one can see in The Canterbury Tales, Piers Plowman, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight prologues. All of these literary works present different valuable societal issues. First in The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer gives us a description of characters and their flaws. Then in Piers Plowman, William Langland satirizes the high authority, and emphasizes the value of labor. Lastly in the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl Poet shows how values can be broken in order to survive. All together medieval society was twisted and wicked due to the fact how people weren 't…show more content…
The values of society can hurt because they might lead to high expectations and dangerous situations. This can be seen in the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Throughout the literary work one can notice how important certain values and expectations are. Immediately at the beginning when the Green Knight arrives to the King Arthur 's castle the societal expectations are fulfilled, "Splendid the knight errant stood in a splay of green and green, too, was the mane of is mighty destrier" (lines 1-2). This shows how the code of the society was filled by wearing green. The Green Knight 's behavior was somewhat hostile towards King Arthur, and still he welcomed him with open arms, "I beg you, and join us for dinner" (line 36). Who knows how the story would have changed without the invite to stay. In fact King Arthur had to invite the Green Knight because of the societal code issued to the knights. Actually that invite partially caused Sir Gawain 's adventure. Of course there is the fact that Sir Gawain volunteered to play the Green Knight 's game, once again, because of the societal expectation to be loyal to ones king and King Arthur was the one being challenged. The game was to take turns on hitting each other on the neck with a hatchet. Not to mention that there was a catch involved. Indeed the Green Knight was able to live without his head, "as a man entirely unharmed, although headless on hides steed" (lines 169-170). The Green Knight asked Sir Gawain to come to his chapel on New Year 's Eve in order to hit Sir Gawain with the hatchet. On his way to the chapel Gawain encountered a castle with a lady in it. The lady was trying to give him gifts for several days. Finally on the third day Sir Gawain accepted one of the gifts because that gift would defend him against the Green Knight 's axe, "she pressed the sash upon him and begged him to take it, and Gawain did" (lines 241-242) even though he was not supposed to accept any kind of gifts due to the societal code. So it

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