From the very beginning of the poem, Gawain proves his devotion to his king by accepting the Green Knight’s challenge. Referred to as one of the “most noble knights” (Norton 159) in King Author’s land, Sir Gawain intends to keep his word in the beheading game and is essentially forfeiting his life to protect King Author and secure the reputation of Camelot. In a year and a day, Gawain must travel to the Green Chapel in order to return the favor of enduring a blow by the Green Knight’s axe. Remaining true to his word, Gawain continues to pursue this journey endangered and alone as a noble knight would. His departure reveals the importance of self-sacrifice for honor. “He rode far from friends, a forsaken man, scaling many cliffs in country unknown…had death struggles with dragons, did battles with wolves” (Hort...
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... with fulfillment, Gawain is honored and respected by all in the court of King Author as they all decide to wear a girdle on their arm in solidity with Gawain. The girdle was once a symbol of deceit, but is now recognized as a symbol of Gawain’s honor. Gawain is now portrayed as a hero who is devoted to the truth, willing to risk his life, and is eager to confront the most difficult challenges. He certainly encompasses the qualities necessary for being an honorable knight in King Author’s court. Sir Gawain represents an ideal knight of the fourteenth century.
1. Simpson, James, and Alfred David. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th ed. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. Print. The Middle Ages.
2. "Analyzing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Analyzing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
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