Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 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. 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). In the lines above it is seen that the Green Knight’s head had completely been severed yet he remains unshaved, it is clear now that Gawain has been deceived. Gawain continues to keep his word even though his journey is lonely and dangerous. “[…] Sir Gawain, Gods servant, on his grim quest, passing long dark nights unloved and alone […] With no friends …show more content…
Throughout his entire journey, Gawain tried to remain courageous and brave. In fact, Gawain demonstrated his bravery when he accepted the challenge that no one else dared to do. Following that he then showed his braveness by cutting off the Green Knights head and keeping his word to return in one year and one day. He even had enough courage to go on a journey by himself rather than having the other knights go along. Although Gawain is seen to be fearful of death because instead of giving away the girdle he kept it in secret so its magical powers would protect him from the Green Knight. Gawain soon learned that his selfishness and fear can ruin his moral
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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.
On the last day, the lady tempts him yet again, at first he refuses: " I swear by fire and ice to be your humble knight" (l. 216-217). But then she brings out the green scarf that promises to save his life. Who could blame Gawain for wanting to save his own life? Not many men would turn down an opportunity to avoid being beheaded, and although Gawain, being a Knight of the Round Table was supposed
Along the way, he encounters many temptations that threaten to deter him from keeping his promise to the Green Knight. The first temptation Sir Gawain faces is the physical and mental obstacles he has to push through on his journey. From harsh weather to mythical creatures, from loneliness to knowing there is a strong chance he dies, he has to forge onward. Then the second temptation is Lady Bertilak’s seductive advancements. After his long journey, Sir Gawain makes it to a castle.
Gawain knew he was a part of the king’s court because of his relation to King Arthur, and not because he deserved it. Therefore, when The Green Knight asks for volunteers and no one stood, he decided to sacrifice himself instead of allowing his king to fight the battle that might cost him is life. This is a prime example of honor; he sacrificed himself for the greater good of the
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 starts off the story very eager to lay down his life almost to the point of conceitedness. He also shows that he is honorable by taking his uncle's, King Arthur, place when Splendid challenged King Arthur's Court. Gawain also exhibited courage because there was a chance of death. Splendid the Green Knight thinks King Arthur's men might be phonies so he went to King Arthur’s court to challenge them. Splendid summoned King Arthur's men to cut off Splendid's head with the understanding that Splendid would get the opportunity to match Gawain's swing for swing a year and a day later.
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
Chivalry has many features that shape a knight, however the virtues that Sir Gawain presents the most are courage and honesty. One time when Gawain showed honesty and courage is when he went to fulfill his deal with the Green Knight. The guide leading Gawain to the Green Chapel told Gawain that he should run and that no one would know about his Failure to keep his promise. But Gawain said he must fulfill his deal: “But however heedfully thou hid it, if I here departed,/ faith in fear now to flee, in fashion thou speakest,/ I should a knight coward be, I Could not be excused./ Noy, I’ll fare to the chapel, whatever chance may befall” (85.13-16).
This scar from the Green Knight helped Gawain to realize his faults and the things that make us human in life. As he realizes these imperfections it says, “Gawain stood their speechless for what felt like a century, so shocked and ashamed that his stomach churned and the fire of his blood brought flames to his face and he wriggled and writhed at the other man’s words.” (179). The Green Knight had tested Gawain and by being honest two-thirds of the time, Gawain was allowed to live, even though he would always live in shame from that moment on. Others believed that he was brave and stood up, but Gawain was ashamed while the knights thought he was honorable.
Gawain, who had struck a deal with the lord to surrender all things he received during his stay in the lord’s dwelling, fails to do so in the name of self-preservation. The lord’s wife gifts Sir Gawain a green sash rumored to protect its possessor from physical harm. Gawain, recalling his inevitable meeting with the Green Knight, decides to contradict his agreement with the lord and “hid[es] it away from all hands and eyes” (Line 1875). His decision blatantly violated the chivalrous code, “failing a moral test in agreeing to hide the girdle from the husband, with whom he has the prior arrangement to exchange winnings” (West 9).
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). Friendship is demonstrated in the poem also as Gawain
In response to the taunting of the Green Knight, Sir Gawain says, "I shied once: no more. You have my word," (272-273). Gawain, like all natural man, shied away once from the Knight's sword as a defensive reflex, but he quickly shakes off any cowardice and announces to the Green Knight that he was caught in a moment of doubt. From there he goes to say that he ultimately is no coward, but rather a noble and courageous knight of the roundtable who is devoted and loyal to King Arthur. He is more than willing and prepared to take what is coming and preserve the honor of his people, as well as his own.
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
His taking of the girdle represents his utter trust in God wavering and instead placing his trust and safety in the hands of the supernatural. Since religion at this point was such a vital aspect of everyday life, this wavering of belief was considered a great sin. However, when the Green Knight is given the opportunity to kill Gawain, he barely nicks his neck. It is then revealed that he is the lord and this was all a test.
If you were in Sir Gawain's position do you think you'd be able to decide what was more important, your knightly virtues or your life? Sir Gawain most likely accepted the Green Knights challenge because of his fear of dying; if he was able to overcome his fear his virtues would stay in tacked. Of course, he did show his bravery when he, out of all the other knights, was the only one to accept the Green Knights challenge. It must have been extremely hard for Sir Gawain to accept the challenge; the internal battle he was having with himself about his upcoming death should've been terrifying. Sir Gawain also accepted the challenge because he felt his life was of lesser value.