Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

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Sir Gawain’s inner ideals and character are adequately tested and thoroughly defined throughout the poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. During the course of his journey, Gawain was not only expected to maintain his honor to King Author, Lord Bertilak, Lady Bertilak, and the Green Knight, but was expected to maintain it while still loyally adhering to his chivalric and religious obligations. As a knight, it is important that he is loyal first and foremost to his God and religion just as importantly to his king. However, on his journey, Sir Gawain does not entirely live up to the integrity of a good knight as he struggles with conflicting values between his faith and knighthood. Although his honor appears to be questionable at times, Gawain’s nobility and bravery are shown in his compliance to face the Green Knight while withstanding the temptations and seduction of the lady, proving that he is truly an honorable knight.
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.
Works Cited
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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