Sir Gawain: The Ideal Knight Essay

Sir Gawain: The Ideal Knight Essay

Length: 1152 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sir Gawain: The Ideal Knight



Throughout the Arthurian legends, Sir Gawain seems to be the epitome of a noble knight. He is always putting his king before himself, repeatedly sacrificing his own life in some way for King Arthur. He is an honorable knight that lives up to his word. This is evident in both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell." In these stories, Gawain lives up to the expectations of a knight belonging to the legendary Round Table.

In "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell," King Arthur is accused of unrightfully giving away Gromer Somer Joure's lands to Sir Gawain. Gromer Somer Joure asks Arthur a question, which Arthur must answer if he wants his life to be spared. Arthur, going against the instructions of Gromer Somer Joure, tells Gawain of his predicament. He tells Gawain that he must not speak of the situation to anyone else. Gawain responds by telling Arthur, "I am not that man that wold you dishonour." ("Ragnell" 150) It is apparent that Gawain is an honorable person that keeps his word. Arthur would not confide in him, otherwise.

Gawain's commitment to King Arthur is even more evident as the story goes on. Arthur finds an old hag, Dame Ragnell, who knows the answer to the question he has been asked. She asks in return, "Thou must graunt me a knighte to wed--his name is Sir Gawen." ("Ragnell" 280-281) Arthur cannot agree to this without consulting Gawain. When Arthur tells Gawain about his encounter with the hag, Gawain brushes it off as if it is nothing. He does not fear marrying the hag as long as it will spare the life of King Arthur. He says to Arthur with great confidence:

Is this alle?
I shalle w...


... middle of paper ...


...s given his land to Sir Gawain. Arthur relies on Sir Gawain to get him out of the predicament that he is in. He also relies on Sir Gawain when the Green Knight confronts him in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Gawain offers to take Arthur's place in the Green Knight's Christmas game. Arthur quickly accepts without a second thought.

It is obvious that throughout the Arthurian legends that Arthur and Gawain are portrayed differently. One thing that remains the same is that there is a special bond between these two characters. Gawain is always the knight that is ready to defend Arthur at all times.

Works Cited

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams et. 7th Edition, Volume 1. New York: Norton, 2000. 156-210

Sands, Donald B. Ed. Middle English Verse Romances. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1966.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Sir Gawain - An Ideal Symbol of Chivalry Essay

- Sir Gawain - An Ideal Symbol of Chivalry The chivalric code is a very complex, and perhaps somewhat foreign concept to a modern person. There are many rules and taboos that a knight must obey. Indeed, the very concepts of honor, love, and humility have been raised to the highest conceivable power, making it almost impossible for a mortal to become a true, perfect knight. Sir Gawain, in the passage [Norton, 1535-1622] of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, proves himself to be an ideal symbol of chivalry....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight”: The Ultimate Test “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” is a poem classified under the genre of Arthurian Romance. An in-depth analysis of lines 1208-1240 would certainly outline the importance of this specific passage as it is vital to the entirety of the poem for if these lines were omitted, the story would be lacking and many events would be unexplained. As this passage focuses on Gawain and the lady, one can assume that the text will highlight specific characteristics solely linked to these characters....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

Essay about Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

- According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, loyalty is defined as being faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain shows tremendous loyalty during his travels. Similarly, Heloise shows loyalty towards her “husband” while they are separated into different religious monasteries through several letters that they exchange. A friar is defined as one who lives in a priory and serves God on earth. In the Canterbury Tales, the friar does this, but also he takes advantage of his position by taking bribes and being unfair....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the epic poems that was based on the epic heroes of Troy and it was written based on the Arthurian tradition. Although it has been translated by several authors, the version that I came across with was translated by Simon Armitage in the late fourteenth century. This poem had many upcoming challenges and one of the main challenges that was very significant was the proposal of the strange Green Knight. “The green knight’s proposal to endure a decapitating stroke in return for the chance to deal one himself appears to subvert the tenets of courtly civility and of Christian fellowship” (Martin pg.1)....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, Pearl, And Orfeo

- Originally written as a medieval romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Orfeo translated by J.R.R Tolkien, has been the center attention for many literary critics. Depicted especially in “Laughter and Game in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” by Martin Stevens, the author argues that the playful nature of the games and the bright holiday atmosphere in the poem “may not be entirely out of order” since it is done so to mask the poem’s underlying concepts of tension, darkness, and sense of foreboding (Stevens)....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
1998 words (5.7 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the author shows, in a deeper, fictional descriptive fashion, a look into English life of the late 1300s to the 1400s. Written in an ambiguous undertone, this poem is left for interpretation by the reader. This seemingly unknown author examines the personalities and character traits of Sir Gawain, and other people within the patriarchy by examining them through the different what they did in life, and how they conducted themselves within specific company. Particularly through Sir Gawain, the Pearl Poet examines more than just pride within this text, but bravery, honor, and temptation....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1217 words (3.5 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- A hero is a character, who is endowed with great courage and strength. A hero’s character is portrayed as a noble, gallant, and even infallible human being, who is close to perfection but for a fatal flaw. In medieval Europe, chivalry, loyalty, faith, and honor were very important characteristics traits thus a medieval hero usually adheres to a strict code of knightly conduct, which requires his absolute loyalty to his king, refusal to break his oaths, and the defense of the helpless. The hero is on a journey of self-discovery and while on this journey he faces many challenges that he must endure in order to prevail....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

The Character of Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Da

- The Character of Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell In the Authorain legend, Sir Gawain has great nobility, honesty, loyalty and chivalry. Sir Gawain is the nephew of King Arthur and a member of the king's elite Round Table. In the texts of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell," Gawain is portrayed as a hero who exemplifies the characteristics of an honorable knight. He is viewed by many in King Arthur's court as a noble man who is loyal to the king, and who will sacrifice his own life to protect his lord....   [tags: Sir Gawain Green Knight Essays]

Free Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: An Analysis of Parallel Scenes Essay example

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: An Analysis of Parallel Scenes The anonymous author of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" was supposedly the first to have originated the alternation of temptation and hunting scenes, which both contribute importantly to the effectiveness of the poem (Benson 57). The two narratives are obviously meant to be read as complementary. Therefore, the parallel juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated episodes is the basic characteristic of the narrative. The narrative, which appears parallel, contrasts temptation and beheading tales; which posed the major problem of unity for the early critics (Benson 26)....   [tags: Sir Gawain Green Knight Essays]

Strong Essays
620 words (1.8 pages)