Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a poem written during the medieval period about the Arthurian legend. Although the author is anonymous, it is apparent that "the dialect of Sir Gawain points to an origin in provincial England, and it represents the cultural centers which remote from the royal court at London where Geoffrey Chaucer spent his life" (Norton, 200). This poem is considered one of the best works of Middle English literature. One reason is that the author was able to ingeniously combine two different plots, folklore and romance, into one literary work. The other reason is the author’s elaborate, but brilliant usage of alliterations and rhymes.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is about a Green Knight, a figure that many consider to be an immortal, who challenges Arthur’s court. Sir Gawain, the most courageous and noble knight of the court, accepts the Green Knight’s challenge for the sake of King Arthur’s reputation. Believing that he is acting on behalf of the king, Sir Gawain does not know that it is really a test of his own chivalry. The following passage that I will analyze introduces and describes the Green Knight. Here, I will talk about the importance of the knight’s attitude, size, and his greenish color. All these are significant elements, as you will see, that help to demonstrate his condemnation of the court.
The author begins by telling us how the Green Knight breaks into the dining hall as everyone is about to be served their main course, "there hurtles in at the hall-door an unknown rider" (Norton, 205). Although this behavior is very rude, we must be able understand why the Green Knight acts this ...
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...g-like Dame Ragnell is not initially Gawain’s true love, he still shows his full respect for her as a wife and lives up to his responsibility as a husband. Upon her transformation to her beautiful self, Gawain does not regret his decision to allow her to choose for him. As a matter of fact, as noble as he is, even if Dame Ragnell had remained a hag, he would still treat her the best. According to the story, although their marriage lasts for only five years, and Gawain has many other wives afterward, he still loves her the best because of her uniqueness.
Abrams, M.H., The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Sixth Edition, Vol. 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1993.
"The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell." In Middle English Verse Romances. Ed. Donald B. Sands. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966. 323 - 347.
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