Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Games can cause you to lose your idea of reality and create a sense of disillusionment. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, games are immensely significant throughout the story. Mental games tear at a Gawain's perception of what's going on, deceiving him to the truth of his situation. Sir Gawain knows this all too well from his experience with the Green Knight. The Green Knight creates a challenge for someone to cut his head off and in twelve months seeks him out to return the favor. Physical games can be as impacting as mental ones; Lady Bertilak attempting to seduce Sir Gawain. This temptation that generates a rift between what his mind knows and what it wants to do leads to more confusion within him She basically throws herself upon him yet he stays strong to his morals. These games within the novel create copious amounts of irony during Sir Gawain's quest. He gets caught up within all these games only to find out later that it was all a hoax. His year long quest is an ironic journey that was produced entirely by the Green Knight. Games hold tremendous value in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the games cause Sir Gawain to lose his sense of reality. Through the Green Knight's games, Sir Gawain's word is truly tested.

The first game introduced in the story starts with the Green Knight's arrival at Arthur's court. Many people of Arthur's court believe him to be a game set up by Arthur, but in fact the Green Knight is the one creating the game. The Green Knight gives a long speech praising Arthur and his court and offers a task to test if the court lives up to its praises. “I offer the axe—who'll have it as his own? I'll afford one free hit from which I won't flinch, and promise that twelve m...

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...” (2383-2384). The truth of the games are finally visible, Gawain stayed true to his word for the most part, but his fear of death caused him to hang onto the girdle that was supposed to protect him. In doing this, he lied to the Green Knight, but more importantly turned his back on his trust in God to keep him safe. He fails right at the end of the game, making it through everything else but the decapitation. Gawain does however vow to wear the girdle as a symbol of his cowardice with his encounter with the Green Knight.

Sir Gawain's word was tested through games that tried to bring down his commitment to the knightly code. The Green Knight was able to break his word by the end of the last game. Gawain's word was the only thing being tested however, his reality became an illusion. A puppet controlled by Lord Bertilak, pulling at his strings with each new game.

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