Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Archetypal Patterns

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Experiences in life often connect with characters and events in literature. These connections give readers a deeper understanding and comprehension of the text. Such a pattern is Archetypal Pattern which consists of three stages of a journey that the reader can identify in works to further the meanings in the stories. In the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Y. R. Ponsor, Sir Gawain undergoes such a journey. A specific aspect of this pattern highlighted in this poem is the initiation and trials of Sir Gawain. As King Arthur's nephew, he sits “among the group on the high dais” due to his blood and not his accomplishments (124). Sir Gawain is young and has yet to truly prove himself and earn his right to his seat at the table. When the…show more content…
Finally, King Arthur himself accepts the challenge only for Sir Gawain to beg for the contest. Saying he is “the least brave” and the “least deserving to be of this company”, King Arthur grants him the chance to show his abilities (127). This point represents his initiation of his journey. The author demonstrates this by showing how Sir Gawain has left the safety and embarked into the dangerous world. He easily chops off the Green Knight’s head but his true challenge and test of character is still to come. After a year passes, it is time to complete the deal and receive the strike from the knight. His trials begin as he resides in a castle with a lord and his wife. A agreement is set that the lord and Sir Gawain would exchange what each has won during the day. Sir Gawain completes the first two days, but does give the lord “the magical green silk scarf the lady has given him as protection” despite the agreement (129). He had failed a trial; he was dishonest and disloyal to the lord. He was scared of death which tainted his mindset. This selfish action proves to hurt him later in the poem in his final trial with the Green
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