Virgin Mary In Sir Gawain's The Awakening

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The Virgin Mary is a female character that is not physically in the poem, but her spiritual presence alone is enough to impact Gawain. Gawain sees Mary as his guide for his journey. She is painted on the inside of Gawain’s shield for him to “stare at Heaven’s/ Queen and keep his courage high” (Lines 649-650). These lines indicate the importance of Mary and that Gawain relies heavily on Christian elements and the power of Mary to help him on his journey. The fact that Mary is painted on his shield, which is supposed to protect him, implies that she is meant to protect him as well. It is important to note that the poet chose to place Mary’s face on a shield and not any other object to signify her power. Whenever he looks at her face, he never
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