In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the code of chivalry affects Gawain's actions throughout the story. The code of chivalry that Gawain tries to follow is one of loyalty, courtesy, and courage.
Medieval times were a time when honor was valued above all other qualities. All knights, the highest models of medieval manhood, adhered to a code of chivalry. When properly followed, this code allowed men to be truly honorable. Among the qualities most highly esteemed were integrity, loyalty, and courage. The clearest examples of chivalry were King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The Pearl Poet vividly illustrates the concepts of chivalry in his epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where Sir Gawain is characterized as a very honorable, chivalrous knight. Throughout the poem, Gawain’s unceasing commitment to his code of chivalry provides a protection against, thus proving the value and necessity of chivalry.
Sir Gawain succeeded in upholding his virtues and the Chivalric Code countless times throughout the story. One of the earliest signs of chivalry Sir Gawain shows can be seen at King Arthur’s court, where the Green Knight first appeared before the Knights and challenged them to a game. Sir Gawain shows courage by bravely accepting the challenge, but he also shows humility by praising the other knights and degrading himself by saying, “I am the weakest, I know, and the feeblest of wit, and to tell the truth, there would be the least loss in my life.” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl Poet, pg. 8) Gawain calls himself the weakest and most unmemorable out of all of the Round Table Knights, this helps the other Knights to save face and ‘allow’
Often in stories, a character's integrity is tested by trials or temptations. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” we see Gawain’s integrity tested from the beginning of the story to the end. Nevertheless, he always remained faithful and loyal to the challenge that is given to him. We also see how Splendid the Green Knight views Gawain on the initial challenge and in the final challenge.
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
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, whose author is unknown, is an Arthurian Romance/Epic that holds a degree of Christian symbolism. These Christian symbols are intermixed with Britannic Pagan traditions and themes in order to appeal more to the common British people at the time of the early Christianization of Britain. This can be supported by the stories of kings being created in the earlier centuries throughout history. In this particular story, this symbolism is important since all the knights of King Arthur’s Court were supposed to follow a certain chivalrous code of conduct, whether present in the courts or away on some other venture. The chivalric code being the embodiment of Christian virtue and valor, which was expected to be personified
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.
According to the hero’s journey there must be a theme, a message the author is trying to get across through the hero’s trials and experiences. The characters in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight play the largest role in getting this theme across to the reader and to Gawain. The idea that being honest and chivalrous is the best way to lead
Sir Gawain is one of King Arthur’s knights. It is Christmas time in Camelot, the time of the year where knights return home and people celebrate their achievements as well as the birth of Jesus. Every year they have a dinner with the king that must begin with a story before eating. No one has a story to tell which causes the king to postpone the dinner until, all of a sudden, a green knight appeared. This story contains ideas known as the hero’s journey.
Chivalry is the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms. The way Gawain demonstrates chivalric ethos is that he honors the King and shows bravery and humility by accepting the Christmas challenge and not allowing the king to do so. He keeps his word by going to the Green Chapel on the day agreed. He keeps his word by giving the Lord the kisses he gets from his wife. He respectfully refuses the advances of the Lord's wife showing loyalty and respect for ladies. He owns up to his mistake, confesses, and apologizes.
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the theme is based on integrity, all of which is categorized in a romance. Knights are judged by their behavior and also by the code of chivalry. In this poem, King Arthur and his knights are challenged. The chivalry of King Arthur’s court is challenged by the Green Knight” however, in embarrassment of his fellow men King Arthur takes on the challenge himself only for Sir Gawain, his nephew, to take him on instead as he claims he has nothing to lose. To put it differently, Gawain’s integrity was challenged. Sir Gawain proved himself by passing the three major tests: the challenge itself, the testing of his virtues, and the penance he accepted as he confessed clean of his sins, at the Green Knights reveal behind the challenge.
Chivalry is code of conduct used by knights, and heroes of the past. “Chivalry, the order of knighthood and, especially, the code of knightly behavior that was a feature of the High and later Middle Ages in western Europe”(Funk). Along with this idea of Chivalry, Feudalism was used in Europe as well. Feudalism is the system of both government and land ownership, where in exchange for a nobleman 's oath of loyalty, a king would grant them land. The ideas of Chivalry was expressed through out all sorts of different literary works, such as songs, poems, and more. The Two stories of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Morte D’Arthur express some of the ideas of Chivalry.
Essay: Consider how the Theme of courage is treated in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
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
Although Sir Gawain does not want to take the Green Knight’s challenge, he honorable takes the place of King Arthur and lies about his worth. The Green Knight arrives carrying an axe and holly, symbolizing peace and war, but tells them that he “travel[s] in peace and seek[s] no trouble” (12). Despite saying that he wants no trouble, he proposes a game involves one strike with his axe by whoever is brave enough for another done by him a year later. The court is baffled by his request, and when no one speaks up to take the Green Knights challenge, he ridicules them by conveying that “all the pageantry and power of the Round Table made nothing by the words of one man” (13). After the Green Knight finishes mocking the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur boldly takes the challenge until Sir Gawain politely requested to take his place. Sir Gawain, who already had a reputation of “knightly character and courtesy [that were] highly renowned