The Five Knightly Virtues of Sir Gawain
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.
From the beginning of the poem, Sir Gawain portrays his generosity by agreeing to cut the Green Knight’s head with an axe. He makes this decision after King Arthur fails to do so (Cathell, 2014). Even though he knows that the consequence of the action is severe, he is ready to face them. The pact that the Green Knight suggested is that whoever cuts his head is going to face the same thing in a year, and most likely encounter his death. Despite this, Sir Gawain moves ahead to demonstrate his commitment through his generous act of saving the King (Beauregard, 146).
Friendship is demonstrated in the poem also as Gawain …show more content…
Sir Gawain shows loyalty and humility when he makes the decision of honoring the promise he made with the Green Knight. This humility drives him to set off to pursue the Green Knight to honor the pact they agreed on. On his arrival at the Green chapel, he calls the Green Knight who emerges to greet him and to fulfill the terms of the contract (Cathell). Sir Gawain presents his neck voluntarily to the Green Knight who feigns two blows (Cooke 4). This is a commitment and a sign of piety that Gawain manifests. He is full of humility and loyalty, a virtue that is required to be exemplified by the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
On the last day, the lady tempts him yet again, at first he refuses: " I swear by fire and ice to be your humble knight" (l. 216-217). But then she brings out the green scarf that promises to save his life. Who could blame Gawain for wanting to save his own life? Not many men would turn down an opportunity to avoid being beheaded, and although Gawain, being a Knight of the Round Table was supposed
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
Gawain starts off the story very eager to lay down his life almost to the point of conceitedness. He also shows that he is honorable by taking his uncle's, King Arthur, place when Splendid challenged King Arthur's Court. Gawain also exhibited courage because there was a chance of death. Splendid the Green Knight thinks King Arthur's men might be phonies so he went to King Arthur’s court to challenge them. Splendid summoned King Arthur's men to cut off Splendid's head with the understanding that Splendid would get the opportunity to match Gawain's swing for swing a year and a day later.
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
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. The virtue of chastity is extremely important in Arthurian legend and we can see this from examining Gawain’s shield.
Chivalry has many features that shape a knight, however the virtues that Sir Gawain presents the most are courage and honesty. One time when Gawain showed honesty and courage is when he went to fulfill his deal with the Green Knight. The guide leading Gawain to the Green Chapel told Gawain that he should run and that no one would know about his Failure to keep his promise. But Gawain said he must fulfill his deal: “But however heedfully thou hid it, if I here departed,/ faith in fear now to flee, in fashion thou speakest,/ I should a knight coward be, I Could not be excused./ Noy, I’ll fare to the chapel, whatever chance may befall” (85.13-16).
Fault and redemption. What do these two words really do in our lives? Do they give us another chance or are they just concepts that we want to follow? In the world we live in, one fault can often make or break something in our lives, but when granted with redemption, we don’t always take it as seriously as needed and soon our fault becomes someone else’s pride. Sir Gawain’s faults can be a constant reminder of the mistakes we all make as humans along with the quote, “It is clear then that there can be no redemption without fault, just as one is unable to return from exile without first being sent into one.
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.
In this time period a knight’s honor was everything, without it the noblemen would become a huge disgrace. Sir Gawain’s honor is immediately tested at the beginning of the poem. He gives his word in the beheading game and intends to keep it even though it’s obvious that the Green Knight had tricked him. “Blood gutters brightly against his green gown, yet the man doesn’t shudder or stagger or sink, but trudges towards them […] gripping his head by a handful of hair. Then he settles himself in his seat with the ease of a man unmarked” (429-439).
Gawain takes King Arthur’s place in the competition with the green knight, chivalry dictates this as the right course of action, a knight must protect and serve the king. Gawain then delivers the blow to the green knight, who then picks up his own head, and remains alive. Gawain fails to kill the green knight and now must face his own death next year. Later, Gawain makes his way to the green chapel to face the green knight. When he visits the Lord Bertilak on his own, Gawain struggles with the Lady and what to do when she invites him to kiss her.
What is chivalry, exactly, and how does Gawain demonstrate the chivalric ethos in the first two sections of the poem? [ ethos= ethical philosophy] Chivalry is the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. The way Gawain demonstrates chivalric ethos is that he honors the King and shows bravery and humility by accepting the Christmas challenge and not allowing the king to do so. He keeps his word by going to the Green Chapel on the day agreed. He keeps his word by giving the Lord the kisses he gets from his wife.
Respect (A Discussion on Chivalry used in The Green Knight and Morte D’Arthur.) Chivalry is code of conduct used by knights, and heroes of the past. “Chivalry, the order of knighthood and, especially, the code of knightly behavior that was a feature of the High and later Middle Ages in western Europe”(Funk). Along with this idea of Chivalry, Feudalism was used in Europe as well. Feudalism is the system of both government and land ownership, where in exchange for a nobleman 's oath of loyalty, a king would grant them land.
Relations Between Sir Gawain And The Green Knight And Christianity “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” have a plethora of connections and relations to Christianity all around its story. Some examples could be Arthurian chivalry with the pentangle of Sir Gawain's shield and Mary's face in the middle, the battle between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which took place inside the chapel of a church, and The Green Knight's decision toward Gawain in showing him mercy. These examples show only few reasons why “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” have connections and relations towards Christianity. The ideals of Christianity and chivalry are brought together in Gawain’s symbolic shield.
Despite the human flaws that each knight bears, all three knights represent knighthood and the chivalric code because of its importance in medieval society. The author of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” describes Sir Gawain as the “most courteous knight” (215) in Arthur’s court because he models chivalry ideally. Gawain’s chivalric traits