Gawain's Turning Point In Le Morte

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Gawain’s loyalty to kin is often mentioned in Le Morte, and his need for revenge tends to be the main reason why he is shamed throughout the text. Later on in the book Gawain and his brothers take down Lamorak in a shameful ambush, and afterwards none of them repent their deeds or get into trouble. The fact that Gawain is able to shame a woman and a fellow knight and then ambush and kill another without consequences, makes it easy to argue that King Pellinor’s death was a major turning point in Le Morte. This is because if Arthur had punished his nephews in the way all other knights would have been punished for this behavior then he could have prevented further murder, including the deaths of the his own sister Margause and her lover Lamorak, among others (Bedwell 6). The “contract” enforced by King Arthur and Queen Guinevere forbids behavior such as outrage or jealousy, treason, murder, denial of mercy, and crimes against women. The rules are necessary for a Kingdom to run smoothly, however there is a flaw in the code. All parts of the oath are equal, and Arthur’s knights have no guidelines for deciding which part to obey when faced with several problems at…show more content…
When a knight loses, or wins in a treacherous way they will be confronted with the label of shame and even cowardice. It can be argued that the link between fighting and cowardice is more complex than traditional masculine shame. For the Knights of the Round Table, the shame of being called a coward is intolerable (Lynch 14-16). An example of this is when Lancelot must answer Gawain’s taunts of cowardice with action. If Lancelot did not answer the taunts he would be labeled a coward, which would cause him to lose all of his worship (only during the Grail Quest would a knight not fight and take time to think of the ulterior motives of their

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