Deception In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by Tolkien, is a tale which takes place during the medieval period when King Arthur’s kingdom is celebrating a Christmas feast. Present at this celebration are the knights of the round table, whom all uphold a code of chivalry, and within this group is Sir Gawain. Tolkien’s introduction of King Arthur’s court represents justice and order, and this especially applies to Gawain. After establishing this virtuous side, Tolkien introduces the Green knight who symbolizes reality, but more specifically, the unexpected challenges within reality. When these two forces clash at the Christmas feast, by Gawain accepting the Green Knights provocation, it becomes evident that reality has the potential to influence order. This conflict of reality testing the morals of those who consider themselves righteous is further explored by the progressive trials Gawain faces throughout the story. Tolkien demonstrates how the presence of temptation is constantly fixed in reality, and that all of humanity is susceptible to these desires. Gawain faces challenges who, despite living by chivalry, embraces temptation when it becomes desirable. Initially, Gawain upholds the virtuous standards of chivalry, which…show more content…
For example, St.Aquinas states,“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” Within Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain is fully aware of the immorality of his actions and that he is breaking his code of chivalry out of his own personal desires. Despite Gawain’s status as a knight and his consistency in maintaining virtuous actions for majority of the tale, his soul was still prone to temptation. Tolkien’s tale exhibits how every human is vulnerable towards temptation through the trials of Gawain and his predicaments with
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