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.
Cornelius’ “The Hero’s Journey”, many events throughout Gawain’s quest show that it is simply not realistic for a knight to meet the standards set by chivalry. Cornelius suggests that a large problem of chivalric code is that it gives a knight a very self-judging mindset. Gawain feels a lack of internal fulfillment after not telling the knight about the green girdle. This shows that the expectations of the code of chivalry is so high, that knights expect too much of themselves.
There was once a time where knights were meant to be the epitome of chivalry; they symbolized honor, courage, justice and much more. However, not every knight matched the narrative of what a true knight should be. One way to teach people a certain value is through exemplary texts such as, “The wedding of King Arthur”. This story uses the knights and their actions to instruct the reader to be honorable by punishing the, shameful, dishonorable knights while rewarding the true and honorable one hence, guiding the reader towards a more honorable path. Sir Gawain does not show mercy to a defeated foe and is punished for it.
Would you be able to hold steadfast to your core values and knighthood when faced against a sorcerous Green Knight with an itching to kill? Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by the Pearl Poet, is a Medieval Romance tale about a noble knight who puts his life on the line in order to defend his king. Sir Gawain is a prestigious knight who demonstrates passionate integrity and honor as he remains faithful to King Arthur and holds true to the knight's code of chivalry. Although Sir Gawain knew that his life would be thrown into grave danger, he chose integrity and proved his loyalty to the king by upholding the virtues of knighthood.
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. The temptress’ actions of seduction towards Gawain as the Lady of the castle, take place over three days, and are three trials Gawain must go through to prove his moral standing.
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
Gawain cannot redeem himself by blaming others, but does it anyways. He was supposed to be the epitome of chivalry and purity, but blames a single woman, the lady of the manor, on everything that he started. Gawain was the one to agree to the Green Knight’s challenge, not a woman who told him to. He took on the lord’s bets, without the ladies saying anything to him. Gawain’s pride and misogyny showed that he could not complete, or even start a path to redemption.
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.
Even though the author of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is anonymous, the story is an embodiment of an epic heroic story. The story delivers evidence of the type of power that Kings and nobility held in the social culture. When the Green Knight challenges King Arthur, Sir Gawain steps up to represent and defend his king in spite of being weak. Sir Gawain states “I am the weakest…the loss of my life would be least of any; that I have you for uncle is my only praise…this folly befits not a king” (Greenblatt & Abrams, 2006, p. 131, 354-358). The nephew of the King’s offers his own life in order to preserve the King.
The first character I will be analyzing is Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain is one of the main characters within this story. In the beginning of the story, we see that Sir Gawain is full of optimism, eagerness, and loyalty to protect his king and his kingdom from the Green Knight. Sir Gawain is seen as the embodiment of chivalry. An example of chivalrous manners can be found such as in his speech to Arthur when he accepts the Green Knight 's challenge.
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
In this world now, people think of chivalry as men behaving courteously towards women; for example, holding the door for them or offering them their jackets when they are cold. However, the story of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight portrays a different aspect of chivalry: that of the medieval times. The chivalry of the medieval times suggests that it is more than just being courteous to women. In the story,Sir Gawain gets challenged by the Green Knight. Sir Gawain then goes to find the Green Knight.
While the main character of The Wife Of Bath’s Tale began with little respect or understanding of women, after undergoing a long journey and learning valuable lessons, he seemed to better understand women, and give them equal respect. Several events from the story in particular triggered this change in the Knight: his initial punishment, reaction to the old woman’s request, and his decision on their wedding night.
Sir Gawain succeeded in upholding his virtues and the Chivalric Code countless times throughout the story. One of the earliest signs of chivalry Sir Gawain shows can be seen at King Arthur’s court, where the Green Knight first appeared before the Knights and challenged them to a game. Sir Gawain shows courage by bravely accepting the challenge, but he also shows humility by praising the other knights and degrading himself by saying, “I am the weakest, I know, and the feeblest of wit, and to tell the truth, there would be the least loss in my life.” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl Poet, pg. 8)
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the theme is based on integrity, all of which is categorized in a romance. Knights are judged by their behavior and also by the code of chivalry. In this poem, King Arthur and his knights are challenged. The chivalry of King Arthur’s court is challenged by the Green Knight” however, in embarrassment of his fellow men King Arthur takes on the challenge himself only for Sir Gawain, his nephew, to take him on instead as he claims he has nothing to lose. To put it differently, Gawain’s integrity was challenged.