In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight there are many archetypal figures influencing Gawain’s growth as a hero. Gawain must deal with many characters throughout his journey, these dealings reveal many sides of his character and tend to his moral growth. He learns many things from different aspects of the journey but he learns the most from the interactions with the characters. A number of characters in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight play key archetypal roles in the perfecting of the hero’s moral development.
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).
What is chivalry, exactly, and how does Gawain demonstrate the chivalric ethos in the first two sections of the poem? [ ethos= ethical philosophy] Chivalry is the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. The way Gawain demonstrates chivalric ethos is that he honors the King and shows bravery and humility by accepting the Christmas challenge and not allowing the king to do so. He keeps his word by going to the Green Chapel on the day agreed. He keeps his word by giving the Lord the kisses he gets from his wife.
The lines 1550-1553 from the Pearl poets epic Sir Gawain and the Green Knight epitomizes two of the most important virtues of a noble knight, and Sir Gawain, the man the story follows, defines what is a true knight. He holds a place next to King Arthur and the queen as well as exemplifying two of a knights most important virtues. The first being chastity and the second being courteousness, both however, are very much entwined in this tale. Throughout this epic and many other Arthurian legends praised these traits in the knight and as we shall see, Sir Gawain although still very much human, is a master of both. The virtue of chastity is extremely important in Arthurian legend and we can see this from examining Gawain’s shield.
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the code of chivalry affects Gawain's actions throughout the story. The code of chivalry that Gawain tries to follow is one of loyalty, courtesy, and courage. He shows his loyalty to Arthur at the beginning of the story, when the Green Knight challenges “any in [the] house”(286) to accept his game, everyone remains silent. He goes on to insult and laugh at Arthur and everyone else, which results in Arthur having to accept the challenge and “lay hold of [the Green Knight’s]
Gawain’s values as a knight are in conflict, because he needs to be polite to the Lady, but he is also loyal to the Lord. Gawain ultimately fails
The ideals of Christian morality and knightly qualities are represented by Gawain’s gold, star-shaped pentangle. The five knightly virtues that Sir Gawain expresses are: generosity, chastity, friendship, piety, and courtesy. From the beginning of the poem, Sir Gawain portrays his generosity by agreeing to cut the Green Knight’s head with an axe. He makes this decision after King Arthur fails to do so (Cathell, 2014).
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
Gawain Often in stories, a character's integrity is tested by trials or temptations. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” we see Gawain’s integrity tested from the beginning of the story to the end. Nevertheless, he always remained faithful and loyal to the challenge that is given to him. We also see how Splendid the Green Knight views Gawain on the initial challenge and in the final challenge.
Throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we see many places where redemption and self-worth are extremely important to the plot. Redemption is the act of failing and falling, but getting back up again, time after time. Gawain fails to meet this in many parts of the story, including bad bets, trying to believe he was faultless, and, most importantly, blaming others for things he himself did. While the act of redemption is very real, Sir Gawain does not showcase this. Gawain can’t seem to learn his lesson when it comes to betting.
In this time period a knight’s honor was everything, without it the noblemen would become a huge disgrace. Sir Gawain’s honor is immediately tested at the beginning of the poem. He gives his word in the beheading game and intends to keep it even though it’s obvious that the Green Knight had tricked him. “Blood gutters brightly against his green gown, yet the man doesn’t shudder or stagger or sink, but trudges towards them […] gripping his head by a handful of hair. Then he settles himself in his seat with the ease of a man unmarked” (429-439).
Fault and redemption. What do these two words really do in our lives? Do they give us another chance or are they just concepts that we want to follow? In the world we live in, one fault can often make or break something in our lives, but when granted with redemption, we don’t always take it as seriously as needed and soon our fault becomes someone else’s pride. Sir Gawain’s faults can be a constant reminder of the mistakes we all make as humans along with the quote, “It is clear then that there can be no redemption without fault, just as one is unable to return from exile without first being sent into one. One’s worth is only so much greater after a return from a fall, since if one is flawless, one has nothing to gain and therefore nothing
Sir Gawain states this because once the green knight revels himself as the king to Sir Gawain he feels ashamed that he took the green sash but indicates that it’s the king’s wife’s fault because she kept insisting that he take it. Although this is indeed true it was because the king put his wife to it to test Sir Gawain’s loyally and honesty but he still puts all the blame on the king’s wife. To summarize anyone who makes mistakes should not put the blame on someone else put rather themselves and learn from the
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a medieval romance written in the late fourteenth century by an unknown author. It is part of the Arthurian legend and takes place in England during the winter. The knights of the Round Table have virtues tested when a mysterious Green Knight appears with a suspicious challenge, that leads Sir Gawain on an epic journey of self-discovery. Even though Sir Gawain is considered to be the perfect knight, his character is put to the test through a series of unbeknownst challenges that ultimately prove his true colors.