In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the character of Sir Gawain, nephew of the famed Arthur of the Round Table, is seen as the most noble of knights who is the epitome of chivalry, yet he is also susceptible to mistakes. His courtesy, honor, honesty, and courage are subjected to various tests, posed by the wicked Morgan le Fay. Some tests prove his character and the chivalrous code true and faultless, like the time he answers a challenge although it might mean his death, or remains courteous to a lady despite temptation. Other tests prove his character and the chivalrous code faulty such as the time he breaks his promise to his host, and when he flinches from a harmless blow.
The first test to his courage, courtesy, humility and loyalty toward his king, Arthur, occurs when the Green Knight suddenly appears at Camelot’s New Year's feast. He offers the Round Table a challenge: the game is for a man to strike him with his axe, and twelve months and a day later, the Green Knight will return the blow. When Arthur accepts the challenge, Gawain interferes and asks Arthur with humility and courtesy to “grant him the grace to stand by him” (SGGK l. 343-344). He confesses that “he is the weakest, and of wit feeblest, and the loss of his life would not be a great tragedy at all because his body, but for Arthur’s blood, is not worth much" (SGGK l. 354-357). He asks to be granted the privilege to claim the Green Knight's challenge because it does not befit a king. Proof of Gawain’s character is substantiated by his noble acceptance of the Green Knight’s beheading game in order to “release the king outright from his obligation”(SGGK l. 365). It shows courage and loyalty that even among famed knights suc...
... middle of paper ...
...love for his life. Thus Gawain deserves less blame for his misdemeanor minor transgression.
Although Gawain, like most us, is prone to evil thoughts of selfishness and dishonesty, and takes a cowardly action, "men still hold him dear" in Bercilak's castle as well as in Arthur's Camelot (SGGK l. 2465). His friends are not as disappointed with him as he is disappointed with himself. He holds himself in contempt, "rages in his heart and grieves" for the shame in his actions and the green belt that he must bear (SGGK l.251-252). He wears the girdle as a badge to remind him of his faults and to lower his pride when it becomes inflated. But he has learned from his mistakes and becomes an even better knight.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in The Norton Anthology of English Literature 7th ed. vol.1. Abrams, M. H et al. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. 157-210.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Analysis Of Sir Gawain's Character In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the character of Sir Gawain, nephew of the famed Arthur of the Round Table, is seen as the most noble of knights who is the epitome of chivalry, yet he is also susceptible to mistakes. His courtesy, honor, honesty, and courage are subjected to various tests, posed by the wicked Morgan le Fay. Some tests prove his character and the chivalrous code true and faultless, like the time he answers a challenge although it might mean his death, or remains courteous to a lady despite temptation.... [tags: Arthurian Legends English Literature Essays]
1115 words (3.2 pages)
- A Character Analysis of Sir Gawain as Presented In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the character of Sir Gawain is skillfully brought to life by the unknown author. Through the eyes of numerous characters in the poem, we see Gawain as a noble knight who is the epitome of chivalry; he is loyal, honest and above all, courteous. As the story progresses, Gawain is subjected to a number of tests of character, some known and some unknown. These tests tell us a great deal about Gawain's character and the struggles he faces internally.... [tags: Essays Papers Gawain Green Kight ]
1423 words (4.1 pages)
- Character Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Depiction of a believable character has always been a difficult task for any writer. A true character must evoke emotions and make the readers want to learn more about him or her. The appearance, acts, words and nature of this character must be vivid and understandable by the audience. In medieval England, Arthurian literary works, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell," describe the character of Sir Gawain as a noble hero, having chivalrous and virtuous attributes.... [tags: English Literature Essays]
2333 words (6.7 pages)
- “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, a fourteenth century Arthurian poem by an anonymous poet, begins in the enchanted land of Camelot. At the heart of this land are the Knight’s of the Round Table who uphold their devotion to King Arthur. During a New Year’s feast of King Arthur’s, a strange figure, referred to as the Green Knight, rudely gallops into the great hall. His color, physique, power, and magic are astounding to the Knight’s of the Round Table. He challenges the men to a test: whoever accepts the challenge to strike him with his own axe, in return, a year and one day from the date, the challenger will receive a blow himself.... [tags: Character Analysis]
1563 words (4.5 pages)
- From all the reputable figures of the tale “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”; the Gawain-poet considered chivalry and the knightly code thee most righteous way to classify a gentleman within the medieval time period. King Arthur, Sir Gawain, and the Green Knight basked in the veneration of their peers and kingdom. Throughout the story these characters was presented in the esteemed glory, however, through the duration of the novella; the storyteller shown that each noble persona contained flaws.... [tags: Character Analysis, King Arthur]
931 words (2.7 pages)
- Some readers of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight may think that the challenges Gawain faces are no more than tests to show off his knighthood. I believe that the Green Knight’s challenges do more than try to test a knight’s might, but instead challenges the institution of chivalry and knighthood. At first, the Green Knight’s proposition appears to be nothing more for him than a game, but the challenges that he sets up a part from the original beheading game alludes to a much more serious goal. These goals I believe are to challenge the court of Arthur and their supposed authority over all that is chivalric and masculine.... [tags: Chivalry, Knighthood, Character Analysis]
1655 words (4.7 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Character Analysis of Sir Gawain "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell" is a medieval romance poem written by an anonymous author. Sir Gawain is one of the major characters in the poem. He is a very likable personality. Sir Gawain represents an ideal knight of the fourteenth century. Throughout the story, we see Sir Gawain portrayed as a very courteous and noble knight, always trying to help King Arthur. The characteristics of Sir Gawain like kindness, generosity and firmness are revealed from his actions.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1998 words (5.7 pages)
- The poem’s journey was set in motion by Morgan le Fay the half-sister of King Arthur. . Although her reasoning behind her quest is questionable her characteristic description allows readers to question if the writer wanted us to focus more on the story between the lines rather that the beauty usually associated with medieval women in poems. Morgan le Fay who was never mentioned in the story until the end is describe in comparative criticism to the wife of Bercilak (who by the way is never named) as being too ugly that she was covered from head to toe in black with the exception of her eyes, lips, and mouth and even those where hideous.... [tags: Morgan le Fay, character and poem analysis]
1104 words (3.2 pages)
- Sir Gawain: A Man of Virtue Nobility, honesty, valiance and chivalry are the values instilled in Sir Gawain. He is a respected knight due to these characteristics. Both Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and in "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell" present these qualities of Sir Gawain. In both tales, he proves these traits through many events. Sir Gawain and The Green Knight proves Sir Gawain’s nobility and honesty while "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell" provides proof of his chivalry and virtue.... [tags: Knights Character Analysis Essays]
857 words (2.4 pages)
- The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell In the story of "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell," we are introduced to a rather interesting character, Dame Ragnell. We meet Dame Ragnell in the beginning of the story when King Arthur is riding his horse into Ingelswood Forest. He then meets a lady, Dame Ragnell, who is described to be absolutely hideous and grotesque. The story gives a complete description of this old, foul woman: Her face was red, her nose snotid withalle, Her mouithe wide, her teethe yallowe overe alle, With blerid eyen gretter then a balle; Her mouithe was not to lak; Her teeth hing over her lippes; Her cheekis as wemen hippes.... [tags: Dame Ragnell Character Analysis Essays]
975 words (2.8 pages)