Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Literary Analysis

424 Words2 Pages
Medieval romances were characterized by the adventures of a young hero, often knights or other nobility, as he endured a difficult quest. Perhaps the most well-known works of this genre were those pertaining to King Arthur and his court. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight meets almost all the criteria of this genre, Gawain endures a quest and has the right motives for doing so, but he does not always behave the way he should. Honorable behavior was a key attribute for every protagonist that found its roots in medieval romance. Like most knights of this era, Sir Gawain had an emphasis on honor, and an extremely loyalty to his king. When the Green Knight arrived and challenged King Arthur, Gawain was more than willing to take his lord’s place. In their article “Medieval Romance” the English department…show more content…
In the beginning of the story, Gawain is very honorable in every aspect, whether it be his dedication to his lord, or his commitment to fulfilling his deal with the Green Knight. Gawain falls short while he is residing with Lord Bertilak and he fails to keep his end of the deal and does not give the lord the girdle he received. Little did he know that would be his downfall and would shame him. Despite maintaining good, honorable behavior for a majority of the story, his one failure is enough to ruin him, and separate him from all of the other heroes of medieval romantic literature. One could debate whether or not the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight truly is a poem that fits into the genre of medieval romance. This becomes a grey area due to the fact that Gawain demonstrates behaviors that are and are not expected by the subjects of this genre. In the end, the knight was a perfect, cookie cutter model of a Medieval Romantic hero for almost the entire story, and only had one flaw, earning this poem the right of passage into the
Open Document