Sir Gawain was given the shield to protect him physically, but it also helped him mentally. This shield helped him mentally because of what it was made and what had been painted on the front and back of it. As said in the poem, “The shield they shewed him then, of flaming glues so red, / There the Pentangle shines, in pure gold burnished” (Weston, .vi.1-2). The front of the shield has the pentangle painted on it to represent the life a knightly man should try to live. Michelle Sauer said, “Dubbed the 'endless knot' in Celtic cultures, the pentangle symbolizes perpetual loyalty.” Although the pentangle is an endless knot, it does not represent absolute perfection. Obviously, no one but God is absolutely perfect; that is why the pentangle does not represent absolute perfection. However, the pentangle does represent perfection on a level achievable by humans. It is said that, “... nobility is the perfection of each thing in accordance with the peculiarity of its nature. Here we need to recognize that the pentang...
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Green, Richard Hamilton. “Gawain’s Shield and the Quest for Perfection.” ELH. 29. 2. (1962): 121 -139.
Gregory – Abbott, Candace. “Chivalry.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web 19 Mar. 2014
Rossignol, Rosalyn. “Chivalry in the Works of Chaucer.” Bloom’s Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 20 Mar. 2014
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