The first symbol in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight that I will discuss is Sir Gawain’s knightly shield. On Gawain’s shield is a pentangle, the five points on this pentangle represent the five virtues of the perfect knight; piety, friendship, generosity, chastity and courtesy. Each of the five virtues is tested on Gawain throughout the poem creating an emphasised importance on the shield’s representation and meaning. “Now alle þese fyue syþez, for soþe, were fetled on þis knyȝt, And vchone halched in oþer, þat non ende hade, And fyched vpon fyue poyntez, þat fayld neuer” (SGGK, 656-8). This quote tells of the pentangle’s design, how each line of the pentangles composition is endlessly linked to one another, suggesting that each virtue depends on th...
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