Character Analysis: Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1300 Words6 Pages
Zach Beckner
February 5th, 2017
Literary Studies
Professor Carey
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Formal Essay: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a classic medieval tale by Pearl Poet depicting a variety of morals such as chivalry, “trawthe”, honor, fortitude, and more throughout the story of a young knight, Sir Gawain, who served as part of King Arthur’s court at the Round Table. One Christmas, King Arthur and his royal court were celebrating the holiday as well as the upcoming New Year with an extravagant feast and lavish party. In the midst of the party, an enormous green knight unexpectedly enters the court on his horse and tells King Arthur and his knights that he does not wish for a dual, but rather, to participate in a Christmas
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The Green Knight purposefully attempted to invoke chivalry upon the knights and when Sir Gawain decided to step-up and accept his challenge, his “trawthe” to the Green Knight was sealed. The seasons quickly passed and before Sir Gawain and the King’s court knew it, December and the New Year had quickly approached. Sir Gawain eventually set off in his stunning armor atop of his horse, Gringelot, in search of the Green Knight and his chapel. Gawain knew he had to fulfill his end of the challenge because all knights are supposed to give precedence to their chivalric values of courage, honor, and in this case, fidelity to his agreement with the Green Knight. Sir Gawain’s chivalric values are also represented in the form of the pentangle designed across his shield. The pentangle represented the five knightly virtues believed to be necessary for all knights: generosity, courtesy, friendship, chastity and piety. It is through the Green Knight’s challenge that these virtues and Sir Gawain’s chivalric values are truly tested and strained. After continuous battles,prayer, and an extremely difficult journey throughout the wilderness, Sir Gawain was lucky enough to come across an enormous…show more content…
Sir Gawain also fulfilled as well as broke his trawthe with the Green Knight. He fulfilled it by actually setting out for the chapel and his end of the bargain. However, he failed his “trawthe” to the Green Knight twice, once through not exchanging all of the gifts and the other through trying to cheat and survive the beheadingment. By the end of the story, Sir Gawain had also ended up failing to account for EACH of the values represented by the pentangle on his shield and vowed to forever wear the green girdle as a representation for his failure and sin in his quest with the Green
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