Sir Gawain: A Steadfast Knight

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“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, a fourteenth century Arthurian poem by an anonymous poet, begins in the enchanted land of Camelot. At the heart of this land are the Knight’s of the Round Table who uphold their devotion to King Arthur. During a New Year’s feast of King Arthur’s, a strange figure, referred to as the Green Knight, rudely gallops into the great hall. His color, physique, power, and magic are astounding to the Knight’s of the Round Table. He challenges the men to a test: whoever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe, in return, a year and one day from the date, the challenger will receive a blow himself. Accepting the challenge over Arthur, from the renowned knights, emerges one knight who stands out as being traditionally the most steadfast and civil of all: Sir Gawain. After the slashing of his head, the Green Knight takes his head and heeds to remind Gawain once more of what awaits him a year and one day from this moment. The next year Gawain stands up to his duty and sets out to find him. While Gawain is searching for his chapel, he is taken in by a great lord, Bercilak, who puts his honesty and integrity to the test in having his wife seduce him. Gawain passes the test, and finally, he discovers that the lord is in fact the Green Knight himself. Instead of being killed in the hands of the Green Knight, Gawain returns to the court with a green girdle which represents his only failure. Gawain being a strong and loyal knight is able to return back to the court, but while on his journey he is faced with temptation which he is able to overcome because of his courtesy, nobility, and ambition.

First, Gawain is able to overcome temptation because of his courteous behavior. Although Bercilak’s beautiful...

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