Sir Gawain Nature Vs Nurture Essay

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Nature vs Nurture - The Trials of Sir Gawain All people govern themselves by an internal set of morals, often in relation to religious and spiritual beliefs. Whether positive or nefarious, intrinsic values often influence the decisions and actions humans make. These personal dogmas, in medieval times, manifested for knights as a code of honor. The feudal-style society of medieval era embraced ideas of loyalty to an individual 's ruler, uniquely molding a culture in which the upper class acted nobly to boost reputation and standing. The knight’s code stood as the axiom by which all knights measured their conduct, a guideline to becoming a great paladin. The code upheld moral vows to chastity, piety, courage, and courtesy, and in the medieval land of Camelot, no knight adhered to more…show more content…
However, when Gawain finds himself pushed beyond his moral limits by Lord Bertilak via deception, he breaks the knight’s code. In the epic poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lord Bertilak deceives Gawain through his multiple tests to elucidate the limits of Gawain’s virtues and subsequently teach Gawain the true nature of humanity. Deception can take multiple forms both and Bertilak’s ploy to trick Gawain assumes the form of a multilayered plan laid deep with traps unknown to Gawain’s during his stay with the Lord. The purpose of which is to expose human nature to Gawain. Bertilak firsts attempts to expose the limits of Gawain’s virtues through seduction via his wife. First, Bertilak’s wife coerces Gawain to abide by courtly love in a conversation where she argues, “‘He’d never stayed so long with a lady and left her unkissed: courtesy cries out Against him! Surely some sly word was missing.’’Your pleasure is my command, Lady: I kiss as you wish, as a good knight Must. Ask me only once.’” (Line 1299-1304) which is ironic
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