In this passage, this is the first time the Green Knight expresses his thoughts about Sir Gawain with great detail. The other times he speaks, he only says a few words. As the Green Knight condemns Sir Gawain 's for his bravery, he also draws attention to his wrongdoing. Despite Sir Gawain 's wrongdoing (Code of Chivalry), the Green Knight still considers him a brave man and explains his reasoning. The Green Knight 's responses to each of them shows he would be concerned with his own life just as Sir Gawain, if he was in the same situation.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late fourteenth century Arthurian Romance Poem. During the time of Sir Gawain, society was dominated by males with women receiving little power. Women were treated with chivalry, but not respected as beings of their own rights. Knights were prided in having the code of chivalry yet were under the assumption woman could not attain much for themselves. However, parts of the text show how woman have the ability to fulfill their needs as they desire.
. . for brave vows [Arthur] yearned to hear made,” but Gawain, whether out of humility or fear, maintains his knightly status and makes no formal boasts. The reason for his silence is probably because he knows that he cannot back them up. Finally, a year has passed and he must leave to find the Green Chapel, so he armors up to leave on his journey.
Throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we see, as with many medieval stories, a wide array of symbolism from the clothes he wears to the plants he walks by. One of the most important parts of the story centers around the hunting trips that the lord of the castle, the Green Knight, goes on. While he is out hunting each morning, he sends his wife to seduce Gawain to test the reputation of Arthur’s court. By alternating the stories of the hunt and those of the bedroom, the poet emphasizes the connections between the two. Just as the Green Knight is hunting, his wife is as well.
When she kissed him, we do not even know if it was on lips or on cheeks. “She bends down over him And gives the knight a kiss;” (Winny 85). Even through the contact such as kissing, Sir Gawain manages to pull himself together and refrain himself from doing the wrong things and go against the church’s teachings, which is the first code on the code of chivalry. Also, while they were talking, he was not rude to her in any form, nor was he allowing her to do many other things to him that would go against the teachings of the church. At the last day, the host’s wife even lies next to Sir Gawain and basically asks him if he wants her.
For instance, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as, “Lanval” Gawain and Lanval are repeatedly subjected towards a Queen’s advances of lust and desire, though under different circumstances. Furthermore, the two knights have to
She constantly attempts to seduce Gawain and “never ceased to remind him of his reputation” making her seem like she cares about preserving his upstanding reputation (Engelhardt 221). When she later tells Gawain about her green belt that could save his life, he believes her lie, accepting and keeping the belt even though it would not actually make him invincible. At the end of the story, the Green Knight, the lord, reveals that he “sent her to test [Gawain]” to see if he was truly noble (Winny 2362). Gawain thought that the “gift of her body which the lady pressed upon Gawain” initially was her honest affection towards him, but her affection towards him was not real (Engelhardt 221). Her dishonesty in her affection caused Gawain to commit a sin which was against his reputation.
This scar from the Green Knight helped Gawain to realize his faults and the things that make us human in life. As he realizes these imperfections it says, “Gawain stood their speechless for what felt like a century, so shocked and ashamed that his stomach churned and the fire of his blood brought flames to his face and he wriggled and writhed at the other man’s words.” (179). The Green Knight had tested Gawain and by being honest two-thirds of the time, Gawain was allowed to live, even though he would always live in shame from that moment on. Others believed that he was brave and stood up, but Gawain was ashamed while the knights thought he was honorable. “And he showed them the scar at the side of his neck, confirming his breach of faith, like a badge of blame… though this I suffered a scar to my skin… So that slanting green stripe was adopted as their sign, and each knight who held it was honored forever, all meaningful writings on romance remind us: an adventure when happened in the era of Arthur, as the chronicles of this country have stated clearly.” (187-189).
In medieval times, could it be possible that the stories being written are about homosexuality? Many scholars would conclude that homosexuality was not included in the composition of stories during this time. The story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight does not have a known author, instead what we do know about the author is based on what we can tell from his knowledge written in the story like the geography of the land. Because there is not a lot of information known about the poet, readers can not use his details to determine what may have been his view or point of this story. The Sir Gawain and the Green Knight poet utilizes gender role inversion, rejection of heterosexual behavior, and acceptance of homosexual behavior in a thorough modern reading to deny the presence of heteronormativity in this piece of medieval literature.
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