Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essays

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essays

Length: 838 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

As with so many stories written in the Middle Ages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is filled with wonders, magic and knightly pursuit of fame and nobility. It combines folklore and romance as does, according to The Norton Anthology, no other known work. The character of the Green Knight fascinates and amuses. Most people would not think of it as an Arthurian-time creature. The Green Man in fact, is a part of an ancient folklore where the beheading of a green man would assure the return of spring next year.

The passage that I am discussing takes place almost a year after the Green Knight has visited King Arthur's court to challenge the court. He has specifically challenged Sir Gawain who steps forward to accept the challenge. The passage starts with the appearance of a castle. This is very significant to the story, and this fact is communicated to the reader in the description of the castle and even by the initial fact that it appears so suddenly and so very conveniently after Sir Gawain's prayer.

Sir Gawain has been suffering, trying to find the Green Knight. The Green Knight has set a date on which they will meet, and Sir Gawain, as is the custom for knights, has to keep his promise that he will fight him. Furthermore, Sir Gawain is the best of King Arthur's knights and his five-pointed star symbol on his shield stands for truth so there is no way he will not keep his promise.

We are made aware of the importance of the castle first when it just suddenly appears from nowhere and secondly when we notice it is set in a green field. The green field makes no sense to the reader because it is the middle of winter, but it does signify the fact that the appearance of the castle is not acci...


... middle of paper ...


...ain is not aware of. Sir Gawain is just grateful that he has found this castle (or that he has been led there) and that he will have a place where he can spend Christmas day. He does not see all the symbols that make this castle special.

From all the clues that the author gives us, we know that the castle is crucial for the story as well as for Gawain's life. He is not aware of it, but the castle is the place where he is tested, and ultimately his future is decided there. It is very typical of this kind of story to include such symbols, like the castle, to convey to the reader that whatever happens there should be remembered because it is important part of the story.

References:

1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In The Norton Anthology of Literature. Ed.
M.H.Abrams, et al. Vol I. Sixth Edition. New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 1993, pp 200-
254.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essays

- Concerns over the medieval people’s ability to faithfully endorse Christianity were echoed in medieval texts through Sir Gawain’s search for redemption. People were expected to demonstrate their unmoved faith, especially since the Church played a significant role in their lives. Sir Gawain embodies the impeccable role as an endorser of chivalry to inspire other knights which allow for open discussion about his flaws to ease iron-clad expectations. Sir Gawain is presented with a call to action in both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale” in The Canterbury Tales which is delegated by higher powers....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- Knightly Character The poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, tells of one knights struggle to uphold the code of chivalry. What makes a knight a noble knight. Why does this social standard force us to hold this individual to higher expectations. What should we think about Sir Gawain when he breaks his vows in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. How does Sir Gawain and Arthur’s court pass the test of The Green Knight. This paper will argue that Sir Gawain, despite his mistakes, is the greatest knight because of his repentance and the lesson he learns when he encounters The Green Knight....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
1125 words (3.2 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay examples

- Throughout the world, intriguing stories manifest within the minds of creative writers. One story that often captives the attention of many scholar’s would have to be “Sir Gawain the Green Knight,” which has been translated by J.R.R. Tolkien. During the epic poem, the reader travels to a time where chivalry is the way society functions morally and socially for the noble class. Although the setting of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is during medieval times, the primary focus is placed on the qualities of knighthood....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
782 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the story of a knight of Arthur’s round table who unbeknownst to him begins a supernatural game that will test his commitment to the chivalric code. The story written sometime around 1400 is an example of a medieval romance with a noble knight venturing forth to maintain the honor of himself and his court. Knights are supposed to be examples of chivalry and since chivalry is largely based upon the church, these same men must be examples for other Christians. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, while entertaining, also teaches readers one of the hardest lessons of Christianity, that to give into the temptations of this world is the one of the shortest ways to d...   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

- The Arthurian romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, follows the fictional medieval life of a knight of the king’s round table. This tale is set in a time when the court is youthful, known throughout the land of Camelot, for their great honor. The protagonist, Sir Gawain, adherence to the knight’s code of conduct will be tested through a yearlong journey. This code of conduct involves the knights being chivalrous Christian men. The theme of chivalry interweaves though the tale as Sir Gawain undergoes a test to prove his worthiness to the court through a game, he is accompanied by Christian elements that strengthen him on the journey, while different interpretations of the round table’s kn...   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
1159 words (3.3 pages)

The Character of the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

- The Character of the Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In the most general sense, the Green Knight is an anomaly to the story of " Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," the only supernatural element in what is otherwise a very believable and wholly real rendering of a specific length of time. Gawain is momentarily tricked into believing‹or, rather, hoping‹that the garter is magical in nature, but both his fear and the Green Knight dispel him of that heathen notion. Thus on the one hand the poet warns us of the danger of accepting the supernatural qua supernatural, while on the other he demands that we understand the Green Knight to be an expression of the "power of Morgan...   [tags: Sir Gawain Green Knight Essays]

Better Essays
698 words (2 pages)

Essay on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Lines 1372-1453 from The Norton Anthology of English Literature Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written in the fourteenth century by an anonymous poet who was a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. The story was originally written in a Northern dialect. It tells the story of Sir Gawain's first adventure as a knight. This section of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight pertains to the agreement between Bercilak de Hautdesert, the host, and Gawain. Bercilak is to go hunting in the morning, while Gawain sleeps....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Free Essays
476 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - lines 491-565 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest 14th century text. The poem is made up of two stories, one (the testing at Bercilak's castle) set inside the other (the beheading of the Green Knight at the beginning and the return blow at the end). The unknown author describes in the poem adventure of the brave and courageous Sir Gawain who challenges the Green Knight. The passage that starts Part II of the poem illustrates the feast given to honor Sir Gawain for his bravery and courage after he meets the first challenge of the Green Knight....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Free Essays
436 words (1.2 pages)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest fourteenth century text. It was written by an unknown author between 1375 and 1400. The story begins at Christmas time, and there are many symbolic elements. The Green Knight is a color which symbolizes Christmas. Also, changing seasons and the coming of winter symbolize the passing of life and reminds us that Death is unavoidable. The author also skillfully illustrates human weaknesses in the descriptions of Gawain's temptations....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Free Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Nothing is known about the author who wrote the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Yet it is considered one of the greatest works from the Middle English era. It tells a tale of a mysterious and magical figure (The Green Knight) who presents a challenge to the pride and wealth of Arthur's kingdom. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge. However, the real test of the Green Knight isn't about strength or swordsmanship. It's a test of character. During Christmas at Camelot, the celebration is interrupted by the entrance of the Green Knight....   [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Better Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)