According to the website Luminarium, “the virtues of a chivalric hero are similar to those of his epic counterpart—valor, generosity, loyalty, honor, and skill in battle—however, the sense given to 'loiautee,' loyalty, at this period is more intricate and more significant”, and we see the depth of Gawain’s loyalty and courage early on in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Jokinen). While the Green Knight challenges a room full of Knights, Gawain is the only one to come forth and put his life on the life, for no reason other than to prove his worth, to take responsibility for his duty, and to spare his King. Gawain states that “I am the weakest of warriors and feeblest of wit; / loss of my life would be least lamented”, when in fact, he becomes the only true knight in the story (“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” 193). During the Middle Ages, the Knights seated around the table should have been falling over themselves to stand up and protect their King and to prove their worth and yet Gawain was the only one who took the challenge, regardless of what it would cost him in the end. There is nothing more courageous than offering one’s own life to spare someone else’s, and nothing less should have been expected from a Knight.
A major factor in being considered a chivalric hero is honor. Gawain proves to honor his word in searching for the ...
... middle of paper ...
..., for which my neck bears the scar; / a sign of my fault and offence and failure, / of the cowardice and covetousness I came to commit” (“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” 237). This is a lesson that Gawain learned throughout his journey, and because of this and his humility, he was able to come out of his adventure with a newfound appreciation for his actions and their consequences; something that any hero must be able to do.
Abels, Dr. Richard. “Medieval Chivalry.” The United States Naval Academy. n.d. Web. 19 February 2014.
Jokinen, Anniina. "Heroes of the Middle Ages." Luminarium. 23 February 1998. Web. 18
“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 1. 9th ed. Ed.
Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 186-238. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- What is a hero. Is it someone who pulls a drowning child out of a lake or is it someone such as Nelson Mandela who inspires others to be better. I believe it is both. Although the two differ in what makes them a hero, they are still a hero. That being said, when comparing the British characters Beowulf and Sir Gawain, I found that both fit the hero archetype. Beowulf and Sir Gawain will be compared on the hero archetype characteristics of being better than the ordinary man, proving oneself many times, and having a tragic flaw.... [tags: nelson mandela, epic hero]
1865 words (5.3 pages)
- The medieval knight Sir Gawain is a hero like Achilles, but his certain characteristics make him unlike his Greek counterpart. The first quality that creates the separation of Gawain is that he is a Christian character, meaning that he believes in the monotheistic religion of Christianity, following the teachings of Jesus and God. He holds the values of this religion to be true such that he should follow with respect, compassion, and forgiveness. This religious view of life affects what Gawain holds to be his moral code, because he fights for God and for his soul to be perfect to reach heaven.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1459 words (4.2 pages)
- In Search Of A Hero For my research paper, I considered investigating many different NHL goalies that have influenced me because I have been an Ice Hockey goalie for 3 years now and I decided to choose Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils because he is considered to be one of the best in the history of the game. I am interested in him because he has broken every record set by NHL goalies before him and has received several awards for his stellar play over the course of his career. His hybrid style, a mix of old and new techniques, is much different from any other goalie in the league and poses a challenge to other players that face him.... [tags: Hero]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- When the hero was first struggling to be defined, there were many different observations and opinions readily available to be thrown into the melting pot of the definition. Because there was no television, the heroes in the beginnings of British Literature were spoken of and read about then passed down through generations. Reading these stories in this day and age is interesting to look at because we can trace the difference in the heroes throughout Beowlf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Faerie Queene and therefore literally throughout time.... [tags: Definition of Hero]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- We all have someone in our lives who we consider a hero. This hero may be an athlete, an actor, a friend, or a historical figure; but just like Targan in True Grit, my hero is who I think of as a hero. Karl Harris, my father, displays heroic qualities such as bravery, strength, and selflessness. I am honored to have such a heroic father who leads by example. First of all, my dad displays bravery in every aspect of his life. My dad has to be brave in his line of work. He has worked as a Deputy Sheriff in Meade County for over fifteen years.... [tags: Family, Hero, Mother, Sheriff]
1073 words (3.1 pages)
- Merriam Webster defines hero as a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities, with that in mind do you believe the word hero is used a little too loosely nowadays. With that said my hero is my mother I know that is a cliche for most, but let me explain how my mom carries and executes the traits of a hero. A hero has a few traits that make them so great and stand out like the perfect apple at the top of a tree, heroes must be selfless (willing to put others above themselves in everything they do), patient (able to take a step back and be willing to wait), and modesty (to be free from vanity).... [tags: Christmas tree, Christmas, Hero, Yule]
1065 words (3 pages)
- The word hero has many different meanings and can be found in every culture around the world. Nowadays, hero’s have been made out to be something super when all they are ordinary people. Hero, as a word, has a dictionary definition like all words, however the true definition of the word has to come to each and every person around the world. Everyone is different so logically that should mean different people develop their own definitions for some words, such as hero. While a hero may be known today as someone with super-powers to a small child, that does not mean that is the deffinition for everyone else.... [tags: Hero, Character, Family, Fiction]
1396 words (4 pages)
- Like Aristotle had once said about tragedy, it is “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language; … in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, where with to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions. A tragedy, therefore, is a kind of lie (“imitation”) that tells a certain truth about human nature and the self. Classical tragic heroes possess hamartia or a tragic flaw, such as hubris, that often lead to the character’s own downfall; and according to Aristotle, "A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." The protagonist must not only poss... [tags: Tragic hero, Tragedy, Poetics]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- The Ambivalence of Chivalric Ideals in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. After reading the poem I was very much captivated by the story of heroic journey. The fact that such fascinating narration could be produced more than 600 years ago was very surprising to me. The diversity in the literature is also amazing. Set in the time of King Arthur, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is a fantasy story of Sir Gawain who accepts a challenge by a green knight and embarks on a journey. The plot and setting are mythical and magic plays a significant role.... [tags: Pearl Poet Gawain Poet]
1520 words (4.3 pages)
- The Hero A hero is not just the title of an action-packed kung-fu flick with subtitles. A hero these days has many meanings; depending on the time and reason that person is called a hero. According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition becomes very broad. It starts as being “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability” and becomes “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.” The last definition listed is probably the most modern of the many, being “an object of extreme admiration and devotion.” These definitions are in the same order as listed in the dictionary, but also seem to be chronologically lis... [tags: essays research papers]
836 words (2.4 pages)