King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Essay

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Essay

Length: 1820 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Gawain and Capital Violence
In almost every example of romantic epics, and definitely every story concerning King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the characters carefully adhere to a strict code known as the chivalric code.. The five main tenets of chivalric code or in other words the knightly code are: showing courage and bravery, being honest, having honor and being respected among peers, being kind to others, and being courteous and well-mannered especially toward females. Gawain is the very embodiment of these chivalric values but through his encounter with the Green knight and the lady he fails to uphold the code because of its rigidness and strictness.. Violence is the mechanism that Gawain uses to gain his capital which is honor and the upholding of the chivalric code. Even though violence does lead Gawain to respect and honor in the end of the poem Gawain points out how cowardly it is to follow a code that is so strict, that it allows no room for any human mistakes and that he was justified in trying to save his life over his honor.
Sir Gawain fulfills his requirements of the five tenets right from the beginning of the poem, as he shows courage and why he can be seen as the greatest knight in the round table. Sir Gawain asks Arthur to allow him to take the challenge. When the Green Knight first challenges the knights in Arthurs Court, it is King Arthur who takes up the challenge at first. But Gawain is quick to step in take the place of King Arthur as he says “I am the weakest of your warriors and feeblest of wit; loss of my life would be grieved the least” (Gawain 354-355). Gawain does not think highly of himself and feels that the only reason he is a knight of Arthur's court is because he is Arthur's nephew...


... middle of paper ...


...rtesy toward females are all tested in the poem. Sir Gawain who is supposed to embody these principles is tested by the Green knight and the lady and he fails to uphold the chivalric code. The failure leaves Gawain scarred for life but it also reflects a change in attitude towards capital violence and the role that it should play in the knights’ life. Gawain makes clear that there is a limit to how loyal and strict a knight can be when he is following the chivalric code and that the demands of the code are so immense that eventually a knight will fail to uphold the code. But this failure to uphold the code and not adhering to capital violence does not show cowardice and is in reality just human mistakes that are expected and are justified



Works Cited

Armitage, Simon. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation. New York:
W.W. Norton, 2008. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

- Book four begins when ambassadors of Lucius, the Roman Emperor, showed up demanding Arthur pay tribute to Rome. Arthur refuses, and Lucius gathers his substantial forces to make war against England. Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table travel to meet Lucius’s forces, and eventually win the war. Arthur moves his army through Europe, surrounding towns and cities until he arrives in Rome and is crowed the new Roman Emperor. During the war while Arthur was moving his army thought Europe, Arthur killed a huge giant who lived on St....   [tags: mysterious, tournament, court]

Free Essays
518 words (1.5 pages)

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Essay

- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table The legends of King Arthur of Britain and his Knights of the Round Table, among the most popular and beloved of all time, originated in the Middle Ages. As they do today, medieval people listened to the accounts of Arthur with fascination and awe. It is certain that popular folktales were told about a hero named Arthur throughout the Celtic parts of the British Isles and France, especially in Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany (Lunt 76). Other stories of chivalry that did not include Arthur existed in this time period as well....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
2961 words (8.5 pages)

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Essay examples

- The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a story mixed with historical truths and exaggerated fiction. The legend of King Arthur, known as the Arthurian Legend, comes from the Middle Ages and is both fact and fiction. There really was a King Arthur who was king of the Britons. He was a type of military leader who fought Germanic invaders. Many of the Tudor monarchs claimed lineage to King Arthur to justify and prove their right to the throne. Most of the knowledge of Arthur is legend....   [tags: Camelot Papers]

Term Papers
1984 words (5.7 pages)

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: Fact or Fiction Essay

- The typical romantic knight consists of a charming man sitting upon his noble steed dressed in shining armor and chain mail. It was during the Victorian Era when literature about knights greatly increased in popularity. All throughout England, restrictions were placed on writings and literature (O’Gorman 2000). Authors took to writing about knights to express their thoughts and feelings and to discuss controversies openly and without breaking the law. The more renowned knights are the knights that sat at the round table....   [tags: Morte D'Arthur, Excalibur, legends]

Term Papers
1975 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table: An Epic Hero For Moder

- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: An Epic Hero for Modern Times In about 1470, Thomas Malory finished Morte d' Arthur, the first of the many legends written about King Arthur. Even in modern times, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are a favorite subject in movies, books, and plays. Often times this is so because the Medieval Period in general, and King Arthur in particular, have an air of mystery, romance, fantasy, and adventure that are popular themes in all times and cultures....   [tags: essays research papers]

Term Papers
604 words (1.7 pages)

The Role of Queen Guinevere in King Arthur and His Knights Essay

- She is the most perdurable female figure in King Arthur and his Knights. Without her the suspense and the plot flow could not have been achieved. Her influence has enabled her to penetrate into men’s world a trait that distinguishes her from the rest of the women. Knights are referred to as the queen’s knights. We could say the same of the ladies who accompany the queen and keep the knights in good company (pg.52) .Queen Guinevere, as the King’s wife, is acknowledged by males. But despite her access to the Round Table, she has no legitimate power....   [tags: Knights of the Round Table, Sir Thomas Malory]

Term Papers
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Arthur's Knights and The Light Beyоnd The Forest Essay

- The Light Beyоnd The Forest Introductiоn This stоry features the exploits оf the many well-known knights оf King Arthur's Round Table -- Lancelot, Percival, Bоrs, Gawain, and Galahad -- each оf whom seeks tо find the cup оf the Last Supper. The Arthurian knights, who sat with King Arthur around a circular table, became the focal point оf fellowship between knights. Some оf them are famous as heroes and champiоns оf just cause (Pyle, 84-89). In theоry, they were brothers; however, jealousy, envy and hatred existed with the fellowship....   [tags: Chivalry, round table, King Arthur]

Term Papers
1320 words (3.8 pages)

King Arthur: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction Essay

- In today’s day and age, stories are traded all the time, and many times it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. However, when a story, approximately 1500 years old has been told and retold, and modified over and over again, the truth, if there is any, can be quite hard to find. This paper will take a look at both the fact and the fiction surrounding who King Arthur was, what he did, and the historical basis for the king. Before exploring the historical truths, it is important that some of the well-known tales, myths and legends are brought into the light....   [tags: Analysis, The Knights of the Round Table]

Term Papers
861 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Legend Of King Arthur Pendragon

- ... The first documentary, The Legend of King Arthur, focuses on the origins of certain aspects told in Arthurian tales. The beginning is a summary of Arthur’s renowned story that avoids going into too much detail. It then explains aspects of history that could quite possibly tie in with Arthur’s life such as the origin of his name in Welsh, how people reacted to Arthur during those times, as well as the emergence of christianity and how that played a role in changing Arthur’s stories once more....   [tags: King Arthur, Holy Grail, Lancelot]

Term Papers
703 words (2 pages)

Essay on Importance of Honor in Sir Thomas Malory’s King Arthur and his Knights

- Importance of Honor in Sir Thomas Malory’s King Arthur and his Knights For centuries, the Arthurian legend has captivated an untold number of readers. What is it about Camelot that draws us into its complex code of chivalry and amusingly brute anecdotes. Human nature, as one can surmise from antiquated literature, has still not changed in the least—we still experience the boons and pitfalls of love, joy, envy, lust and sorrow. This certainly explains why the tantrums of Malory’s jealous Queen Guinevere strike chords of familiarity and even evoke an empathetic chuckle....   [tags: King Arthur Knights Essays]

Term Papers
1784 words (5.1 pages)