Imperfection rather than Perfection

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“ The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can’t separate them, they’re wedded.” Henry Miller. In the medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the ideal medieval society glorified perfection. A man who did not go by the code of chivalry was not considered a perfect man with morals. In a world full of temptations men fall short, due to their worldly desires that bring men down when they least expect it. The author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, implements heavy biblical symbolism throughout the medieval romance that conveys a message regarding the theme that mankind cannot achieve perfection.
“And held in the other hand an ax, immense and unwieldy, a pitiless battleblade terrible to tell of” ( The Gawain Poet 29-30.233). The Green Knight’s ax symbolizes the grace that God showed throughout the romance towards Arthur and his noble knights, especially King Arthur’s knight Sir Gawain. God shows grace to King Arthur and his knights by giving them life. The Green Knight could have challenged the men to a duel or fought to the death but instead challenged their courage and nobility. “ That he dares to stoutly exchange one stroke for another… And I will abide the first blow, bare-neck as I sit” ( The Gawain Poet 67,70.233). The Green Knight was testing the men seeing if all the gossip about how great King Arthur and his men were was true but, no knight took the challenge until King Arthur stepped up. That’s when Sir Gawain politely asked the king if he could take his place. Sir Gawain taking on the Green Knight allowed the rest of the knights and king to live, since the Green Knight would only be returning the favor tho Gawain . The grace God showed, the gift of life...

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...s what the value to life meant to him but also because Gawain then admitted to what he did wrong and learned from his mistake. The nick on the neck shows that although God wants mankind to be obedient he understands that mistakes happen and that sometimes that nick on the neck is what humans need in order to realize what they did was wrong.
The theme that mankind cannot achieve perfection conveys heavy biblical symbolism in, From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The more mankind stay away from the idea of perfection, the less people will get judge based on standards they cannot achieve themselves. So people should go out there and own their imperfections and stop hiding them from the world, just think if God loves people for who they are and their imperfections, the world will too.

Works Cited

http://www.b-g.k12.ky.us/userfiles/1049/sir%20gawain%20text-0.pdf

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