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.
Generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety; the five virtues all the knights of king arthur's round table would plague to uphold. Yet, even Sir. Gawain, King Arthur's nephew, succumbed to temptations and broke his plague in Sir. Gawain and the Green Knight. After this transgression Gawain is heartbroken, but considering everything his has done in the course of the of the story, I believe that he is being too hard on himself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When his challenge is met with silence, the Green Knight demands, “Whose fame is so fair in far realms and wide? Where is now your arrogance and your awesome deeds, Your valor and your victors and your vaunting words! [. . .] Overwhelmed with a word of one man’s speech” (1.305 - 1.315). Shocked by the physical differences and brash challenges of the Green Knight, Arthur’s court forgets to abide by the chivalric code, which dictated the conventional understanding of human nature in that time period.
The Morality of a Knight Have you or someone you know showed courage in your lives? There was and always will be many stories that probably have the same of amount of courage as the people you know or see in the news. One of those stories is “The Tale of Sir Launcelot du Lake”, which tells the tale of one of King Arthur’s most beloved and talented knight, Sir Launcelot. He loves to adventure and help others with moral courage. However, Sir Launcelot is not the only sense of moral courage in this story.
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. 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).
(Document E). Parallel to this, knights follow a code called, ‘The Code of Chivalry’. In this code, the knight has to be loyal to the king, give mercy to all and live a well-rounded life all together. Meaning, he must be kind and respectful to ladies and must serve his king with a great deal of loyalty. Breaking this code was a huge disgrace to any knight.
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 isn’t just for the knights anymore. It applies to life now, how we all should be, we should all act with chivalry. We should all want to be chivalrous and perform acts of kindness being selfless. We need to take from our history, we need to see how the knights acted with such honor and loyalty and apply it to today's world. We need to improve our society, we can not allow chivalry to