Theme Of Paganism In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Paganism in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The idea of Christianity versus Paganism dramatizes the controversy over the conversion from Paganism to Christianity. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the author uses religion to create conflicting dynamics within characters and plot. Above all, in the poem, the Green Knight represents the Green Man and highlights the flaws in Camelot and the Christian Knights within its court. At the time Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written, pagan beliefs and myths were still highly prevalent. The fourteenth century was around the time Europe transitioned from Paganism to Christianity. Early Christians still had small aspects of Pagan belief in their daily life such as deities, worship, and superstitions (McGuire 1). Christianity also took longer to spread throughout the rural areas of Europe. Pagus means “country district” and is sometimes used to refer to an uneducated, illiterate, rural citizen. Pagan never referred to non-Christians until the urban people converted to Christianity and the country people did not. Paganism is an assortment of many different beliefs and traditions that range from ancient times to more modern creations. Some of the common practices are Belief in the soul, deities, ancestors, and the cycles and equality within nature (McGuire 1).
The Green Man was a pagan deity who generally represented renewal and rebirth. He more specifically represented nature’s constant renewal. His powers were associated with
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