The Ideal Knight In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Good Essays
In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the characteristics of the ideal knight is represented by King Arthur’s court. However, it will be challenged by The Green Knight as well as Bertilak’s court. Sir Gawain would reach a new understanding that ideals would eventually remain as ideals and that he is human, therefore it is perfectly fine to feel weak. The clashes between religion and chivalry that defines the ideal knight in King Arthur’s court. This is found in Fitt 2 where Sir Gawain reaches Sir Bertilak’s court. In this fitt, before he enters the court, he is stripped of his armours and shield. The shield is significant as the pentangle represents the chilvaric codes — honour, courage, generosity and pledge-fulfilling — while Virgin Mary represents the…show more content…
However, due to the popularity of courtly love, fighting for a lady is to stand in for Virgin Mary. The removal of his armour and shield symbolises that his beliefs are to be challenged and break down. During his stay, he faces the three seductions scene by Lady Bertilak when Sir Bertilak goes out for hunting. These seduction scenes allows the christian ideals — chastity, fortitude, humility, temperance and satire on manners — to be at tension with the chivalric ideals. The first two seduction scenes creates tension between chastity and pledge-fulfilling towards the Lady’s advances. The last seduction scene, Lady Bertilak plays on his courage with the temptation of a chance of survival with a green girdle which is said to be able to protect him. Sir Gawain is only seen to compromise on his honour as he did not give the green girdle to Sir Bertilak as promised that they will exchange what they get for the day. Sir Gawain’s ideals that he has to hold up to as a knight has broken down as he realised that they contradicted with one another. Sir Gawain’s action of accepting the girdle suggest his desire to live. The notion of survival is an instinctive thought to
Get Access