No matter where we go in the world, we will always be surrounded and tempted by sin. These temptations test our character and morality, and they prove that our human nature inherently causes us to fall to the sins that encompass us. Even though the world is a dark and immoral place to live, we all value our lives and are prepared to do almost anything to protect ourselves from harm’s way. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the green girdle serves as symbol that highlights Gawain’s incessant love for life that tempts him to stray from his knightly code of chivalry.
Temptations that function to separate us from our morality are difficult to overcome. Throughout the poem, Gawain struggles to reject the temptations provided by Lady Bertilak. She entices Gawain with her soothing words, and she convinces him to never “[leave] her unkissed” (1300). For any human, a temptation similar to what Lady Bertilak tempts Gawain with is extremely difficult to reject. It is easy to be drawn towards the powerful forces that accentuate our lustful desires, and it is hard to control the impure emotions that pull us away from our morality. Gawain’s emotional senses encourage him to allow Lady Bertilak to seduce him. Although, his knightly senses urge him to remain pure and spiritually faithful, avoiding lustfulness and abstaining from acting on sexual desires (“Code of Chivalry, 5”). Gawain persistently battles the temptation of lustfulness, but his moral code assists him in opposing the allurement of becoming more physical with Lady Bertilak. Lady Bertilak is unsuccessful in seducing Gawain with her continuous flirtation and occasional kissing, so she presents Gawain with her girdle, a gift that enhances his weakness––t...
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...ever completely loses sight of his true identity. While he does make a lot of mistakes along the way, he grasps his foolishness and attempts to make things right. Mistakes are common among everyone, but it is important to recognize our mistakes and take responsibility for them. Due to his unfaithfulness, fear, and doubt, he leaves behind the most important thing in his life: his faith.
In today’s society, worldly things continue to provide a temptation for each of us. Like the green girdle, things such as scandalous television shows and parties entice us, and they challenge our code of ethics and call attention to what we view as most important in life. It is important for us to set our morals and remain true and faithful to them so that we will not end up like Gawain––wearing a symbol of our past sins and failures around our waists for the rest of our lives.
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