During the Medieval times chivalry was one of the most important characteristics a knight could display. Chivalry was viewed as a moral obligation that involved bravery, honor, respect, and gallantry. Knights were expected to uphold this code or face social consequences for any infractions, with punishments ranging from humiliation to termination of their knighthood. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” presents the struggles knights faced with honoring the chivalrous code at all times. Sir Gawain, while imperfect, exhibits qualities expected of knights and embodies the internal struggle between honoring the chivalrous code and giving into selfish desires.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Often in stories, a character's integrity is tested by trials or temptations. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” we see Gawain’s integrity tested from the beginning of the story to the end. Nevertheless, he always remained faithful and loyal to the challenge that is given to him. We also see how Splendid the Green Knight views Gawain on the initial challenge and in the final challenge.
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
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.
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. He believed that he wasn't as smart as the other knights and that he was weaker than them. The Green Knights challenge was given to see whose virtues were true; although the whole
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale about the imperfections of men. In this case, these imperfections are that men try to prove that they have certain desirable qualities and they try to ensure that they get what they wish for. Presenting a challenge, a Green Knight enters King Arthur’s hall on Christmas. If any knight is brave enough to cut off the Green Knight’s head, he can keep the Green Knight’s ax. Furthermore, the Green Knight will then return a strike to that knight in one year. After hearing this challenge, Sir Gawain tries to prove his bravery to King Arthur by cutting the head of the Green Knight off in one blow. Afterwards, the knight leaves with his head, telling Sir Gawain to look for the Green Chapel. On all saint’s day the
Beginning and ending with references to Troy, the poet of Gawain and the Green Knight, foreshadows the narrative with the paradox of failure being framed as greatness. Starting the poem with a discussion of the fall of Troy, speaks to the destined failure of Gawain and his quest, both literally and figuratively. Ending the poem with a reference to Troy’s greatness, presents the paradox of a fallen city, and with an army that lost the war, but, is still hailed as great.
Writers of every era and every culture have always been influenced by their surroundings, whether that be the landscape itself or the deeply held beliefs of the people living there. These elements come across in their writings, one of the most commonly seen belief or value that can be found in Early British Literature is Christianity. While most of Britain was once occupied by pagans, after the conversion to Christianity these Christian themes can be found penetrating through every era of literature. The Old English epic poem, Beowulf, draws on Christianity to rationalize some of its supernatural elements, turning the pre-conversion myth into a lesson on faith. The Middle English romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, uses mysticism and