Medieval times were a time when honor was valued above all other qualities. All knights, the highest models of medieval manhood, adhered to a code of chivalry. When properly followed, this code allowed men to be truly honorable. Among the qualities most highly esteemed were integrity, loyalty, and courage. The clearest examples of chivalry were King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The Pearl Poet vividly illustrates the concepts of chivalry in his epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where Sir Gawain is characterized as a very honorable, chivalrous knight. Throughout the poem, Gawain’s unceasing commitment to his code of chivalry provides a protection against, thus proving the value and necessity of chivalry.
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.
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.
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.
In the days of King Arthur, there was something called “Chivalry”. It was something used by Knights to instill discipline and honor. These fearless knights were to follow a strict code of conduct. If they didn’t, they were not a true knight. Because of this code of chivalry, their behavior was affected tremendously. It changed the way they acted, thought and lived. In Morte D’Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, chivalry governed the knights’ behaviors in three ways: their respect towards women, courage, and honor.
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
Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is the most known 14th century poem that depicts the Arthurian legend. It has been translated from a Middle English dialect by Simon Armitage; unfortunately, very little is known about the original author. Sir Gawain is the protagonist as he is the major source of conflict when he struggles to decide whether his “knightly virtues” are more important than his own life. The ideals of Christian morality and knightly qualities are represented by Gawain’s gold, star-shaped pentangle. The five knightly virtues that Sir Gawain expresses are: generosity, chastity, friendship, piety, and courtesy.
In the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we begin in King Arthur’s court at a Christmas feast. A stranger, who calls himself the Green Knight, interrupts the festivities proposing a game. Anyone from King Arthur’s court has the chance to have one swing to chop of the Green Knights head, but in return the brave man who does must find the Green Knight at the Green Chapel in a year’s time, and allow the Green Knight to return the favor. When no knight rushes to take on his challenge, the Green Knight insults the court by calling them cowards. "What, is this Arthur's house...Whose fame so fair in far realms and wide? Where is now your arrogance and awesome deeds? Your valor and your victories and your vaunting
According to the hero’s journey there must be a theme, a message the author is trying to get across through the hero’s trials and experiences. The characters in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight play the largest role in getting this theme across to the reader and to Gawain. The idea that being honest and chivalrous is the best way to lead
Sir Gawain is one of King Arthur’s knights. It is Christmas time in Camelot, the time of the year where knights return home and people celebrate their achievements as well as the birth of Jesus. Every year they have a dinner with the king that must begin with a story before eating. No one has a story to tell which causes the king to postpone the dinner until, all of a sudden, a green knight appeared. This story contains ideas known as the hero’s journey.
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. Sir Gawain proved himself by passing the three major tests: the challenge itself, the testing of his virtues, and the penance he accepted as he confessed clean of his sins, at the Green Knights reveal behind the challenge.
He is described as a man, “None had seen...with sight in that hall so grand.” (197) Immediately he asks for the leader of the house to which he extends his request for a contest to King Arthur. The unnamed knight then reveals the rules of the game. Carl Martin, in his essay, The Cipher of Violence, elaborates. “ The Green Knight reveals here that while the typical warrior-noble engineers his aggrandizement through public displays of prowess… he is also bound by a strict code of behavior meant to restrain and refine his aggression.” (312) So too, the knights of the round table and the entire court of Camelot are bound to the same laws of courtesy. They can not demand bloodshed, however, in the guise of a game, it can be desired, even more so, required, for the sake of entertainment. After a few moments, Gawain accepts the challenge in the King’s stead, takes the ax and, “Brought it down deftly upon the bare neck.” (420) This is the moment the court has been waiting for. The instant when courtesy becomes a metaphor for violence. By treating this unnamed knight with all the courtesy they possess, they can now require him to die a noble death at the hands of one of their own, in the sight of all who dare to watch. “The blood gushed from the body, bright on the green/ Yet fell not the fellow, nor faltered a whit. (429 - 430) The Green Knight, though his head is severed from his body, remains alive and requires retribution.
“Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” have a plethora of connections and relations to Christianity all around its story. Some examples could be Arthurian chivalry with the pentangle of Sir Gawain's shield and Mary's face in the middle, the battle between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which took place inside the chapel of a church, and The Green Knight's decision toward Gawain in showing him mercy. These examples show only few reasons why “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” have connections and relations towards Christianity.
Although Sir Gawain does not want to take the Green Knight’s challenge, he honorable takes the place of King Arthur and lies about his worth. The Green Knight arrives carrying an axe and holly, symbolizing peace and war, but tells them that he “travel[s] in peace and seek[s] no trouble” (12). Despite saying that he wants no trouble, he proposes a game involves one strike with his axe by whoever is brave enough for another done by him a year later. The court is baffled by his request, and when no one speaks up to take the Green Knights challenge, he ridicules them by conveying that “all the pageantry and power of the Round Table made nothing by the words of one man” (13). After the Green Knight finishes mocking the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur boldly takes the challenge until Sir Gawain politely requested to take his place. Sir Gawain, who already had a reputation of “knightly character and courtesy [that were] highly renowned
The green knight is a constant symbol of pagan fertility thought the poem. This is first made apparent the very first time we see the knight. “It would be hard to describe even half the fine work That was embroidered upon his [clothing and saddle-gear], the butterflies and birds, With lovely beadwork of green, always centred upon gold.” The embroideries and the knights entire appearance for that matter (possibly also with his head to toe green attire) suggest that he is in thought with nature, this is of coarse in sharp contrast to Arthurs court which he has entered which as with Gawain represents the opposite. As we know paganism centres around close ties to the natural world, and the examples of the green knights connection to nature continue