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. Gawain was destined to fail from the very beginning, it was an inevitable outcome. 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. Gawain’s values as a knight are in conflict, because he needs to be polite to the Lady, but he is also loyal to the Lord. Gawain ultimately fails …show more content…
When the Lord Bertilak or the green knight, forgives Gawain for this sin he reacts, “Then he grabbed the girdle and ungathered its knot and
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Gawain cannot redeem himself by blaming others, but does it anyways. He was supposed to be the epitome of chivalry and purity, but blames a single woman, the lady of the manor, on everything that he started. Gawain was the one to agree to the Green Knight’s challenge, not a woman who told him to. He took on the lord’s bets, without the ladies saying anything to him. Gawain’s pride and misogyny showed that he could not complete, or even start a path to redemption.
. . and since I have asked for it first, let it fall to me" (l. 131-136). After he takes his turn with the axe, and the date is set for the Green Knight to take his turn, Gawain keeps to his word by traveling to what seems the ends of the earth to keep his part of the covenant. At the Lord's castle, he is repeatedly seduced by the Lord's wife, but each time, Sir Gawain refuses, knowing that a knight must remain chaste and true to his word. For two days he kept his word in his agreement with the Lord--another game.
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.
The form of government that takes place during Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is feudalism it’s a cast system that was made up of kings, nobles, knights and peasants. The way feudalism worked was by exchanging land for military service which was then passed down to the peasants who would cultivate the land in return for living on it. In medieval times the knights were expected to be honorable, brave and fight for justice. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is considered a masterpiece that was written back in the fourteenth century. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by John Gardner talks about the lesson learned by Sir Gawain such as honor, keeping ones word and learning form ones past mistakes.
Gawain is courteous to no end, even asking for permission to “abandon [his] bench and stand by [Arthur]” (Pearl Poet l. 344) so he may risk his own life instead of his kings to abide by the Green Knights game. He even humbly states that he “[is] the weakest” (l. 354) and that it would be the least lost of he was to parish which is untrue. Gawain is also extremely courteous when he is denying the wife’s attempts to seduce him saying he is “a knight unworthy” (l.1245). He plays a game of wits as he must not offend her advances but at the same time must not let the wife win the “game” because then he would have to lay with her and that would be uncourteous to his host, Lord Bertilak. The only time Gawain faults in his courteousness is when he refuses to acknowledge the agreement he made with Lord Bertilak which was “whatever [Lord Bertilak] win[s] in the wood shall at once be [Gawain’s] and whatever gain [Gawain] may get [he] shall give in exchange” (ll. 1107-08).
.This makes Sir Gawain as a relatable hero, opposed to the heroes that are portrayed as godly and infallible. Sir Gawain was not a military warrior with badges, he did not swing a weapon but one at the Christmas games in the beginning. Sir Gawain is considered a literary hero because he was brave for stepping forward to protect King Arthur, his king and uncle. He had faith that led him through his journey into the enchanted forest and into the castle and he did not abandon it. He was noble in being a guest at Lord Bertilak’s, or the Green Knights, castle by offering his services to Lord Bertilak and, resisting temptations, and not sleeping with Lady Bertilak, Lord Bertilak’s
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.
Consider how the theme of courage is treated in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a story that celebrates courage in a positive light in the majority of situations but we see that courage can have a negative impact on some of the characters in the story and it questions knighthood. Courage is an honourable term defined “The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery:” (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/courage) and for Gawain to be called this term defines him as a knight. His actions throughout the story makes it difficult to analyse how courage is treated in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
In the lines above it is seen that the Green Knight’s head had completely been severed yet he remains unshaved, it is clear now that Gawain has been deceived. Gawain continues to keep his word even though his journey is lonely and dangerous. “ […] Sir Gawain, Gods servant, on his grim quest, passing long dark nights unloved and alone […] With no friends
When Gawain was forced to choose between his friendship with Lancelot and honoring King Arthur and the round table, he chose the latter because it helped the most people in the long run. Even though friendship and loyalty to his king were pitted against each other in this case, Gawain was able to remain level headed and rationally choose the best option. In this situation, he thought about others rather than himself. This is not always the case. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain is presented with the opportunity to have immortality or to remain true to his morals.
Deception is the act of deceiving; or the state of being deceived, which is something of very powerful nature. Deception can cause people to believe things that may or may not be true. Deception in most cases is used when an individual has a certain motive that he or she is trying to achieve. In the play Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, deception is present when Bertilak uses his wife to deceive Sir Gawain, by having her to try to seduce Sir Gawain on three different occasions. Although Sir Gawain remains loyal to Bertilak, Sir Gawain still takes the girdle; therefore, in the end Sir Gawain is left with a sense of failure, proving that Bertilak attained the motive he was seeking.
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.
After Gawain comes clean and acknowledges his sin, the Green Knight praises him for being an honorable and chivalrous knight. He then invites Gawain to a great feast, but Gawain humbly states that he must return to his duties and continue to defend and protect King Arthur and his subjects. Sir Gawain even thanks the Green Knight and wishes him well after this frightening test of honor. He says, "I've reveled too well already; but fortune be with you; May He who gives all honors honor you well," (401-402).
Being merciful is showing God’s dealings with mankind and is a quality of God. Bertilak refers Gawain to being a knight worthy and has no equal. Bertilak exclaims that he was sent on this task to find Gawain and see what he is about. The revelation after the Bertilak spares Gawain’s life and knowing about the girdle all along leads Gawain to truly embrace his flaws and humility for the first time and in so doing to find atonement and a more stable base for Christian behavior than the rule-based chivalry of Arthur’s court. “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” shows Christian ideas and shows behavior towards everyone.