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
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the beginning of the story Gawain is described as a great knight and as a courteous man "the man to whom all excellence and valour belongs, / Whose refined manners are everywhere praised" (911-912). The pentangle that can be found on his shield shows his aspiration to become perfect in each of the five senses. But this aspiration seems to be unattainable at the end of the poem when Gawain is portrayed as the imperfect
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 ideals of Christianity and chivalry are brought together in Gawain’s symbolic shield. The pentangle on Gawain's shield is represented between five virtues. These virtues are friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy, and piety. Each virtue displays the characteristics of a knight
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.
Much of the action in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight revolves around carious kinds of games. In a way, all these games are connected. Chivalry is defined as the medieval system, principles, and customs of knighthood. In the time Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written, chivalry was a major deal. The games may have been somehow connected with chivalry, in that the medieval system included the playing of these games. The poet also uses these games in order to test the knights of their chivalry, their code of honor. In the beginning of the story, it is written, There true men contended in tournaments many, Joined there in jousting these gentle knights(p.159, ll.41). The relationship between games and tests is explored
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by an author who is unknown to all, is a story, in the genre of Arthurian Romance/Epic, containing certain qualities of the symbolism of the Christian variety. “ So the star on this spangling shield he sported / shone royally, in gold, on a ruby red background… “ (Part 2, Lines 662-663 ) The meaning of this Pentangle has to do with Christianity. The fact that Sir Gawain displays this shield so proudly means he thinks of himself as a chivalrous and holy
The relationship of the biblical, merciful God to The Green knight and Sir Gawain to the human race is exemplified in the analysis, as well and the relationship between the acts of communion with the acts of loyalty, selflessness, and
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
In class, we read many different books that all have different morals or lessons in them. For example, in “The Knight's Tale”,they show how love can be the end of you. In “The Pardoner’s Tale”, he tells how greed will destroy your friendship and end your life. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, they show how chivalry is the most important lesson from their time. This is why I have chosen “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” to be the best story that we have read this year. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” has been translated to make the reader truly grasp the content of the story, the characters are chosen with great detail, and it shows what it meant to have chivalry.
It has to be said that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is arguably one of the greatest middle English poems of the 14th Century. The author of the text, whom, amazingly is still unknown tells the reader, through the medium of poem the courage of the Great Sir Gawain as he bravely challenges the Green Knight. The poem also shows the courage of others. In Medieval times and especially medieval writings, there was a great engrossment with courage. Courage was spread throughout medieval literature and tended to be linked to knightly chivalry, as it is in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Courage was an extremely focal area of interest during medieval times. Medieval literature is teemed with examples of courage and thankfully Sir Gawain and Green Knight has great courageous characters too. What is great about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is that the poem tends to deal with the problematic nature of courage throughout. Courage can be defined in many ways, but the author of Sir Gawain: Cowardyse and the Fourth Pentad, Valerie Allen, really hits the nail on the head with her definition of courage. Courage in her opinion is “A Virtue central to Knighthood” (ALLEN). In the 14th Century, there was a huge public recognition of courage, people wanted to be recognised as possessing it.