“Sir Gawain and The Green Knight”: The Ultimate Test
“Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” is a poem classified under the genre of Arthurian Romance. An in-depth analysis of lines 1208-1240 would certainly outline the importance of this specific passage as it is vital to the entirety of the poem for if these lines were omitted, the story would be lacking and many events would be unexplained. As this passage focuses on Gawain and the lady, one can assume that the text will highlight specific characteristics solely linked to these characters. The text is also likely to reveal any contrasting descriptions to the prior lines. Although this passage builds upon the character development of the lady, it seemingly makes Gawain the center of attention. Indeed, lines 1208-1240 focus on Gawain’s chivalry, reputation, and Christian ideals.
Firstly, chivalrous behavior is significant in King Arthur’s court and without a doubt, a knight is portrayed as the epitome of courtesy. Gawain is outside of King Arthur’s court in this portion of the text, therefore the knight’s continuous chivalry allows the reader to notice the importance of courtliness as well as how crucial it is to a knight’s life regardless of where he is. Gawain remains in a state of perplexity and this is obvious in line 1212, “The lady laughed, making light of his quandary.” The conversation between Gawain and the lady is one which contains a lot of knightly courtesy. One such example is when Gawain attempts to not cross the line between politeness and romance:
“Good morning, madam,” Gawain said merrily.
I’ll contently attend any task you set,
And in serving your desires I shall seek your mercy,
Which seems my best plan, in the circumstance!” (“Gawain” 12...
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...ll, this segment of the text builds on the ending of the poem especially in regards to Christianity and the role it plays in a knight’s life.
In conclusion, the three aspects of chivalry, reputation, and Christian ideals are ones which are interconnected. To be a chivalrous knight, Gawain must have self-discipline by containing himself in regards to lust. The lady lavishes Gawain with admiration, but he must guard himself while remaining gracious. In order for him to maintain a good repute, he has an obligation to follow the code of chivalry. As a result, Gawain has the duty to remain loyal to his religion in addition to the king. The Arthurian chivalry that Gawain displays throughout this segment of the text is founded on Christian ideals. To sum up, this passage is essential to understanding the rest of the story, therefore it is of importance to a great extent.
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