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Symbolism In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

"You’re the finest man that ever walked this earth”(Gawain poet 341-342. 242). Any knight during the medieval time period worked earnestly to obtain a compliment as such. Knights would follow the code of chivalry. The code both military and Christian ideals. Men were expected to be modest, loyal, and uphold the honor of his kingdom. The code in, other terms, was an instruction manual on how to be perfect. Anything short of the code would result in a dishonorable knight. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is embedded with symbolism which conveys an underlining message that while mankind may not be perfect, God’s grace shall forgive those who recognize their faults.
The message of the story was able to be comprehended by dissecting the symbols revealing the intended message. One of the most prominent symbols in the poem is Sir Gawain himself. He is the living embodiment of mankind. Gawain is just one of the many soldiers in King Arthur’s court. He strives to be perfect. He is polite and humble, stating that his “life would be least missed” (Gawain poet 132. 235). After Gawain has been given the game, mankind is being tested. Gawain is faced with three tests that challenge him to remain on the right path of perfection and not stray into sin. Mankind passes all but the last test. Ashamed, Gawain places his failure upon a green silk sash, he continues forth to proclaim a curse toward " cowardice and covetousness both, villainy and vice that destroy all virtue (Gawain poet 352-353. 242). He could not bare to except that he could not reach fruition of being perfect. Placing blame on something or someone else, instead of claiming responsibility, is a common characteristic that mankind shares. However, after Gawain repents his sins, th...

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...). However, after he realizes his faults, the symbolism behind the color green changes once again. The Green Knight has accepted his repentance, and forgives Sir Gawain, washing his slate a clean white. The Green Knight advises Gawain to keep "his rich token. Remember the Green Chapel" (Gawain poet 376. 243). Green became a representation of the lesson Gawain had learned with the help of the Green Knight.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight uses symbols to explore a deeper message. The medieval time period is influenced by the code of chivalry. This code led many knights to attempt perfection such as Sir Gawain. However, Gawain, the representation of mankind, fails to be flawless. The Green Knight forgives him because of the remorse in Gawain's actions. The poet heeds that perfection is near impossible to reach fruition without God's grace and one's repentance of sins.
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