The Code Of Chivalry In The Hero's Journey

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In order to be honorable during medieval times, a knight is expected to follow the code of chivalry. A knight is expected to display traits such as courtesy, courage, honor, and loyalty to their king. As a member of the round table in Camelot, Gawain is expected to adhere to all of these traits and accept the challenge of the Green Knight. Even though Gawain does accept the challenge, his seemingly chivalrous actions do not turn out to be very honorable, yet he does eventually survive his quest. Gawain does survive the challenge of the Green Knight, but the way that he completes it is not very fulfilling. This is not Gawain’s fault. The code of chivalry has too high of standards, which makes it almost impossible for Gawain to honorably fulfill his quest.…show more content…
Cornelius’ “The Hero’s Journey”, many events throughout Gawain’s quest show that it is simply not realistic for a knight to meet the standards set by chivalry. Cornelius suggests that a large problem of chivalric code is that it gives a knight a very self-judging mindset. Gawain feels a lack of internal fulfillment after not telling the knight about the green girdle. This shows that the expectations of the code of chivalry is so high, that knights expect too much of themselves. The code of chivalry misjudges the capabilities of a knight and does not consider the human emotions that a knight can feel such as fear. Cornelius explains, “In failure, Gawain finds only imperfection and the stunning recognition that he is only human” (Cornelius). The challenges that are expected of a knight stray away from the fact that knights are flawed humans too, and they are indeed mortal. Gawain carries out his dishonorable actions because his human instinct of fear gets to him. He would not have kept the girdle if he did not feel fear about going to see the Green Knight a year and a day later. It is likely that any other knight would have kept the girdle, despite the expectations of
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