Closely associated to the romance tradition are two idealized standards of behavior, especially for knights: courage and chivalry. The protagonist within many medieval romances proved their worth by going on quests, as many a knights went in those times, thus returning with great tales of their travels and deeds. Many modern people think of chivalry as referring to a man's gallant treatment of women, and although that sense is derived from the medieval chivalric ideal, chivalry could be seen as more than that. Knights were expected to be brave, loyal, and honorable-sent to protect the weak, be noble to...
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...]/ then I shall come” (193). Gawains bravery and his readiness to be of service to his King depicts the elementary understanding of what it means to be a knight; however in the end knights are only human, which is why when actually faced with death Gawains anxiety causes him to recoil from the blade of the axe.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight fit in with the concept of a romance; it has all the elements that would make one consider the text as so. The tale holds adventure, magic, a quest and an unexpected reality check that even those who are considered “perfect” are also just humans. The author used this story as a way of revealing faults in some of the aspects of knighthood through the use of intertwining chivalric duty with natural human acts; thus showing to be perfectly chivalrous would be inhuman.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; A Romance?
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