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. One of the symbols of knighthood is a lady of knight's heart; knight's behavior with ladies is important in general, and Sir Gawain behaves as a true knight with the hostess of the castle. Another important side of being a knight includes the skill of carving an animal, and that is also described in the passage.
One aspect of being a knight is choosing a lady of his heart. The knight is supposed to perform noble tasks in her honor, thus glorifying her name. Love is knight's inspiration for all of his actions, and when he thinks he has done enough glorious deeds, he comes back to his lady. If his lady is kind enough, she will marry him, unless she is already married. In the passage, the host's wife tries to seduce Sir Gawain. However, she is not the lady of his dreams, and since Sir Gawain follows the principle -- "to remember a knight is to reflect goodness in everything he does, for that is what makes a knight honorable, " he politely turns her offer down. It is possible that Sir Gawain refuses hostess' charms because he is afraid of her husband; however, with the whole story evolving around Sir Gawain's nobility, it is highly unlikely that this is a reason for him.
Sir Gawain does this in a way that does not make the ...
... middle of paper ...
... are riveting in their strict observance. The chivalric code is full of rules for the knight's conduct in any situation, one example of which is hunting and carving animals.
There is, however, one central idea that every knight is a servant; a knight is the one who does only good in the name of love and never brings dishonor to anyone. In this second test, Sir Gawain proves to be a true knight when he is tempted by the hostess of the Green Castle. So far nothing can turn him from his path, for he is a true knight.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H.Abrams, et.al. Volume 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993. 200-254.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Ed. J.R.R.Tolkien, E.V. Gordon. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1967. Online. Internet. Available HTTP: http://www.hti.umich.edu/english/mideng/index.html
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Upon first Reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I noticed that it comes off as a romantic normative poem about chivalric ideals and traditions of the ruling class with covertly Christian Images. The protagonist character Sir Gawain stands out as the role model of the chivalric ideals of the 14th century while displaying Christian images on his armor. The combination of Gawain’s armor and actions throughout the poem exemplify his characteristics of Christian perfection and chivalric ideals. The very first scene with Bertilak of Hautdesert known as the Green Knight begins to mold your perception of how chivalrous Sir Gawain is by portraying him as valiant, humble, and virtuous knight to A... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1481 words (4.2 pages)
- The Pentangle in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight When writing, never explain your symbols. The author of ``Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' dropped this unspoken rule when he picked up his pen. Why. The detailed description and exposition of the pentangle form the key to understanding this poem. By causing the reader to view Gawain's quest in terms of the pentangle, the narrator compares the knightly ideals with the reality of Gawain's life. The narrator uses the pentangle to promote the knightly ideals, but he also accentuates the primary need for truth in knightly conduct.... [tags: Sir Gawain Green Knight Essays]
3293 words (9.4 pages)
- The Ambivalence of Chivalric Ideals in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. After reading the poem I was very much captivated by the story of heroic journey. The fact that such fascinating narration could be produced more than 600 years ago was very surprising to me. The diversity in the literature is also amazing. Set in the time of King Arthur, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is a fantasy story of Sir Gawain who accepts a challenge by a green knight and embarks on a journey. The plot and setting are mythical and magic plays a significant role.... [tags: Pearl Poet Gawain Poet]
1520 words (4.3 pages)
- The Arthurian legends of old are seeped in mythical elements and weaved together with artful skill. The origin of Arthur and his knights bloomed in Britain, though their existence is uncertain and unconfirmed. Multiple authors have written their own versions of Arthur and his knights’ endeavors, many of them containing similarities between them. However, when looking at these stories, there is a question hiding among them. What is more important, the myth elements, or the story-telling elements.... [tags: Mythology]
1103 words (3.2 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a religious allegory full of Christian symbolism with the central message of sin, forgiveness, and redemption. The poem is a great story of virtues, trust and honor. It's an Arthurian romance in which Sir Gawain carries a shield on his chest in his quest for Green Knight. Gawain's shield has two images, a picture of Virgin Mary on the inside and "Painted upon his shield is a five-pointed star (pentangle). He is a perfect knight who realizes that it is important to be a good Christian The image of Mary inside this shield conveys that Gawain never loses heart and the detailed description of the pentangle is a key for proper understanding of the poem's m... [tags: European Literature]
1121 words (3.2 pages)
- Role Models in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Excellence has always been a virtue revered by society. Writers throughout the ages have tried to capture the essence of excellence in their works, often in the form of a title character, who is the embodiment of perfection, encapsulating all the ideal traits necessary for one to be considered an excellent member of society. However, the standards for excellence are not universally agreed upon. On the contrary, one man's idea of excellence may very well be another's idea of mediocrity.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2249 words (6.4 pages)
- Journal 1 – Beowulf Beowulf appears to be larger than life and is portrayed as the strongest warrior in the region. Beowulf might be arrogant, but he proves it in countless ways through his actions. Beowulf fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a somewhat large fire-breathing dragon. Also, Beowulf uses a sword to slay Grendel’s mother that is unusable by humans. During the battle, Beowulf demonstrates his strength as he battles Grendel, “The monster’s whole body was in pain, a tremendous wound appeared on his shoulder.” This quote reveals how strong Beowulf is.... [tags: Beowulf, The Flea, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
886 words (2.5 pages)
- ... His recognition that he has failed to demonstrate chivalry in his dealings with the Green Knight and the lady of the castle is seen when he becomes angry at the ladies of the castle who have so cleverly deceived their knight with their trickery and at himself for falling for the wiles of women. Sir Gawain 's recognition is actually that the ideals he strives for are lofty ones. Being chivalrous takes more than intent, it takes actions in adherence with the chivalric code. However, by recognizing he needs humility and contriteness to succeed in being a truly chivalrous knight, Sir Gawain is a reminder of the frailty of all human beings.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chivalry]
1061 words (3 pages)
- “A man’s body is given to him to be trained and then used for the protection of the weak, the advancement of all righteous causes and the subduing of the Earth . . . This was a part of a wider revival of the ideal of chivalry.” (Richards) During the middle ages, a knight was expected to possess not only the skills and incredible strength to face combat, but was also expected to temper his aggressive side with a code of chivalry. There is no such thing as the authentic code of chivalry, it is more like a moral system which went way beyond the rules of combat to introduce the concept of appropriate conduct.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1961 words (5.6 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – A Test of Chivalry Essay with Outline Loyalty, courage, honor, purity, and courtesy are all attributes of a knight that displays chivalry. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is truly a story of the test of these attributes. In order to have a true test of these attributes, there must first be a knight worthy of being tested, meaning that the knight must possess chivalric attributes to begin with. Sir Gawain is self admittedly not the best knight around. He says "I am the weakest, well I know, and of wit feeblest; / and the loss of my life [will] be least of any" (Sir Gawain, l.... [tags: Sir Gawain Green Knight Essays]
2442 words (7 pages)