Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

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The novel/poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is the story that begins the Arthurian Courts. During the Christmas festivities, a strange Green Knight enters wanting to play a game with the men personified as the most chivalrous men. Sir Gawain volunteers in the place of King Arthur in this treacherous game. In the game, Gawain beheads the Green Knight but surprisingly the Knight fails to die but instead lives with his head cut off. The Knight places a quest on Gawain that before the New Year he must travel to the Green Chapel to complete the quest. In the novel/poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight represents God.
The Green Knight compares to the God presented in Exodus. The poem/novel begins in Camelot with King Arthur’s Court. The nobles and knights of the Court are festively celebrating Christmas when, suddenly, a strange Green Knight carrying a large ax rides into the Court on his green horse and disrupts the festivities. The Arthurian Court members surprised with his visit begin to examine him and notice he is entirely covered in green. They examine that, “His look was lightning bright/ said those who glimpsed its glow/ It seemed no man there might survive his violent blow” (199-202). In the story Exodus, God tells Moses to gather the people and prepare them to walk to Mount Sinai to meet their God. But God warns Moses of the punishment for the Israelites climbing the mountain: death. God, in Exodus, is feared because of his bright appearance on the mountain as the Green Knight appears “lightning bright” to the Arthurian Court. The brightness shows the power both have as killers: God, in Exodus, shows his power with the promise of death to anyone but Moses entering the mountain and the Green Knight show h...


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... the blame” clarifies part one of repentance in the church. Gawain acceptance his wrong doings as one would do in Catholic confession and asks in return his mission “clear his clouded name” as though Gawain wants God to forgive him in order to be received in heaven. The Green Knight responds with, “I declare you purged, as polished and as pure/ as the day you were born, without blemish or blame.” (2393-2394). The words “I declare you purged” represents the Green Knight as a man with the authority to “purge” a man of his sins or as God. The Knight uses his God-like authority to grant Gawain the opportunity to be reborn.
The Green Knight represents God throughout the story in order to use games to test Sir Gawain in his faith. But after Gawain eventually fails the test, the Knight shows mercy and allows Sir Gawain to repent and regain his name as a chivalrous knight.


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