Not all heroes are perfect, but some are nobler than others. In the story of Sir Gawain, we find out that even legends, such as Sir Gawain made mistakes. In today’s time, most heroes are thought of as militaristic accomplishments, such as badges, wars won, and saving lives. Sir Gawain was a hero, not because of great accomplishments but because he was driven by his bravery, nobility, and virtue.
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.
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.
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. One’s worth is only so much greater after a return from a fall, since if one is flawless, one has nothing to gain and therefore nothing
In the Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an epic story emerges to reveal a man’s journey of honor, honesty, valor, and loyalty. Throughout Gawain’s adventures in the poem, he discovers and demonstrates his own chivalric qualities. Although he makes a few mistakes along the way he strives to be an honorable man.
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.
Throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we see many places where redemption and self-worth are extremely important to the plot. Redemption is the act of failing and falling, but getting back up again, time after time. Gawain fails to meet this in many parts of the story, including bad bets, trying to believe he was faultless, and, most importantly, blaming others for things he himself did. While the act of redemption is very real, Sir Gawain does not showcase this.
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
Bertilak has one motive, that being to make Sir Gawain no longer look as if he is a Goddess, but as a failure. Lady Bertilak is very successful in deceiving Sir Gawain as part of Bertilak’s plan, leading to Bertilak's main motive being achieved, which is making Sir Gawain feel as if he is not as great as everyone thinks he is, and that really he is just a failure and sinner. At the end of the poem Sir Gawain and the Green knight meet to challenge each other when Bertilak reveals himself as the green knight “Because of our other agreement, in my castle; You kept it faithfully, performed like an honest Man, gave me everything you got. Except that you kissed my wife: I swung For that reason-but you gave me back her kisses” ( Page 128). Bertilak reviles himself, which conveys to Sir Gawain that he had been deceived the whole time, especially when Lady Bertilak acted as if no one would know and that they were completely alone the entire time she wanted to have relations with him. This furthers my argument that Bertilak was very good at using everything he had in order to deceive Sir Gawain, which he was very successful in. Bertilak conveys to Sir Gawain that he knew the entire time Sir Gawain was being deceived, Bertilak believed that no other knight would be able to withstand the temptations of lust; however, Sir
Courage is a very important aspect of a knight’s life and is needed in the succession of knighthood. Gawain is a knight that possesses this and gives the reader an effective concrete picture to the theme of courage in the story. It answers my questions in the introduction, what is courage and what do you have to do to be courageous. It is simple really when you take into consideration Gawain’s experiences. Courage is not just about being brave in front of others or being fearful but standing up to them, it is about being courageous on the inside, using everything in your heart to achieve the unachievable and reaching goals you never thought you would ever reach. You do not need to have any sort of characteristic to be courageous, anyone can be it and some people don’t even realise it sometimes when they are. In Gawain’s experience, underneath it all, he wanted to prove to himself that he was worthy of being a knight and that he obtained chivalry and knighthood and carried it with him everywhere he went. It is true to say that he proved himself and the theme of courage is treated positively because of him as he was always true to
“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.
Beginning and ending with references to Troy, the poet of Gawain and the Green Knight, foreshadows the narrative with the paradox of failure being framed as greatness. Starting the poem with a discussion of the fall of Troy, speaks to the destined failure of Gawain and his quest, both literally and figuratively. Ending the poem with a reference to Troy’s greatness, presents the paradox of a fallen city, and with an army that lost the war, but, is still hailed as great.
Many other knights would run but Gawain understands that he has to have courage and must be honest about going to meet the green knight and fulfill his deal. One other virtue of chivalry that Gawain presents is courtesy. Gawain shows courtesy to the ladies of the castle. The pearl poet creates this scene: “His acquaintance they requested, and
In Sir. Gawain and the Green Knight the green girdle meaning changes multiple times during the duration of the story. When Sir. Gawain first accepts the green girdle from the lords lady it symbolizes the desire to live. Gawain and the lord had a deal going on, that they would exchange what they have received at the end of each day. Gawain plays this game fairly by giving all that he has received that day to the lord and the lord doing the same with him. This changes on the third day when the lady gives him the green girdle as something to remember her by. He first refuses this gift but after the lady revels that "whoever wears this girdle cannot be killed"(PartIIISummary), Gawain then accepts the gift and only exchanges the kisses that he