In class, we read many different books that all have different morals or lessons in them. For example, in “The Knight's Tale”,they show how love can be the end of you. In “The Pardoner’s Tale”, he tells how greed will destroy your friendship and end your life. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, they show how chivalry is the most important lesson from their time. This is why I have chosen “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” to be the best story that we have read this year. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” has been translated to make the reader truly grasp the content of the story, the characters are chosen with great detail, and it shows what it meant to have chivalry.
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.
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
The selection of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight follows the basic format of the adventure. The author emphasizes communion to show the loyalty and community between King Arthur and his knights. The symbolism behind the relationship between Sir Gawain to humans and the Green Knight to the merciful God further shows the relations of this medieval romance to the Bible.
There have been many differing interpretations of the Green Knight’s purpose in the poem and what his green colour is symbolic of. The Green Knight enters Arthur’s court holding a holly-branch “Ȝe may be seker bi þis braunch þat I bere here, / Þat I passe as in pes, and no plyȝt seche” (Barron 265-266). The holly signifies peace but he also carries an axe, which signifies violence. Because of these dualities of his character, the Green Knight symbolic meaning can be interpreted in various ways. His true nature is unclear as he possesses conflicting characteristics. He is described as being simultaneously known and unknown, hero and villain, human and supernatural. He is the supernatural Green Knight but he is also the human named Bertilak. Markman (583) points out this ambiguity present in his character. It seems that the Green Knight is ultimately a symbol of nature, as he dies and is reborn, like part of a natural cycle. The Knight’s greenness is of symbolic significance; green is associated with nature and its cycles of growth and death, in this way the Green Knight is represented as a fertility god. The Green Knight’s association with the Green chapel enforces his association with nature. In this way, he is a representation of the Green Man. The colour green is symbolic of eternal life; the Green Knight possesses holly, which is evergreen even in winter, sharing this symbolism. Shedd (11) argues that the contest between the Green Knight and Gawain is symbolic of the struggle between the aspects of nature. To summate, the Green Knight and his green colour are significant symbols in SGGK
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, whose author is unknown, is an Arthurian Romance/Epic that holds a degree of Christian symbolism. These Christian symbols are intermixed with Britannic Pagan traditions and themes in order to appeal more to the common British people at the time of the early Christianization of Britain. This can be supported by the stories of kings being created in the earlier centuries throughout history. In this particular story, this symbolism is important since all the knights of King Arthur’s Court were supposed to follow a certain chivalrous code of conduct, whether present in the courts or away on some other venture. The chivalric code being the embodiment of Christian virtue and valor, which was expected to be personified
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). Even though he knows that the consequence of the action is severe, he is ready to face them. The pact that the Green Knight suggested is that whoever cuts his head is going to face the same thing in a year, and most likely encounter his death. Despite this, Sir Gawain moves ahead to demonstrate his commitment through his generous act of saving the King (Beauregard, 146).
In the Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an epic story emerges to reveal a man’s journey of honor, honesty, valor, and loyalty. Throughout Gawain’s adventures in the poem, he discovers and demonstrates his own chivalric qualities. Although he makes a few mistakes along the way he strives to be an honorable man.
Most interestingly, the paradoxical Pearl poet added at the end of this poem, “HONI SOIT QUI MAL PENCE” (Part IV, L. 2531) otherwise translated as; “evil be to him who evil thinks” (page 64). This sentence adds further validation to the story of Sir Gawain by inserting background of King Edward. In conclusion, Sir Gawain and the green knight present a contradiction which teaches the reader a simple truth, which many often forget. We as humans are not perfect, however that does not mean we are
Beginning and ending with references to Troy, the poet of Gawain and the Green Knight, foreshadows the narrative with the paradox of failure being framed as greatness. Starting the poem with a discussion of the fall of Troy, speaks to the destined failure of Gawain and his quest, both literally and figuratively. Ending the poem with a reference to Troy’s greatness, presents the paradox of a fallen city, and with an army that lost the war, but, is still hailed as great.
The style of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is written with extreme imagery and detail. It's the kind of story that uses imagery and details to make it so that the reader almost feels the weather, sees the sights, and feels the emotion happening in each scene. He describes things with words I don't quite understand, but still with enough detail to make it seem very vivid.
Essay: Consider how the Theme of courage is treated in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
In 2003, the motion picture, Kill Bill Volume 1, debuted in theaters. Set to a backdrop of bloodshed and violence, the film offers 112 minutes of savagery, as the main character attempts to get back at every person who has wronged her in the past four years. Kill Bill is only one of the many films in which violence is the number one attraction. “Kill or be killed,” seems to be the overarching motto, as millions of moviegoers flock into theaters each weekend to watch as characters fight to the death. In contrast, violence portrayed on the silver screen is no longer acceptable outside of the theater. Groups such as “Black Lives Matter” protest the violence enacted against minorities at the hands of authority figures. Legal courts are designed
At the beginning of the story Gawain is described as a great knight and as a courteous man "the man to whom all excellence and valour belongs, / Whose refined manners are everywhere praised" (911-912). The pentangle that can be found on his shield shows his aspiration to become perfect in each of the five senses. But this aspiration seems to be unattainable at the end of the poem when Gawain is portrayed as the imperfect
There are many times humans act differently because of someone else. The outlooks of human behaviors depend on the negative or positive influences that surround a person. People act the way they are because of the external forces that affect them. Likewise throughout history, many authors and poets create their work of literatures based on the external forces. Often times, the message that these authors and poets reveals not only has universal themes, but also can connect to people’s life stories. The external forces in the poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” translated by John Gardner particularly relate the story of my own life.