Essay PreviewMore ↓
In the final scenes of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain’s encounter with Sir Bertilak allows Gawain to perceive his own flaws, manifested in his acceptance of the Green Girdle. The court’s reaction to his personal guilt highlights the disconnect between him and the other knights of the Round Table. Gawain’s behavior throughout the poem has been most noteworthy; his understanding of his sin, one that many of us would dismiss since it was propelled by his love of life, enhances his stature as a paragon of chivalry.
When Gawain shows up at the Green Knight’s chapel, his mere presence provides comfort to his host, who greets him: “Sir so sweet, you honour the trysts you owe.” Perhaps the green gallant had been expecting Gawain, as representative of the crumbling House of Arthur, to be derelict in his duties. Gawain lives up to his good name. Similarly, he resisted the unbearable temptations of Lady Bertilak on numerous occasions, providing a mere kiss, in accordance with the code of chivalry.
Yet, Gawain did err in accepting the girdle; that much cannot be denied. We, the reader, can forgive him since he repents fully, even going so far as to impose penance (of wearing the girdle eternally as a mark of his fall) on himself. It takes a mild rebuke by the Green Knight to crack Gawain’s façade of confident valor. His conscience compels him to break down when confronted by his host as to his indiscretion. However, this happened only when the host had revealed himself to be the same as the Green Knight. We realize that Gawain had previously perceived in Sir Bertilak an equal in knighthood; thus his ease in deceiving him in the exchange of winnings game. When Gawain realizes he was the subject of a test, he sees Bertilak/Green Knight in a different light. The Green Knight now becomes Gawain’s confessor and in doing so assumes a fatherly role.
We see that Bertilak perceives Gawain’s fault, his love of life, and irrespective of it, loves Gawain. Despite having sinned, Bertilak sees in Gawain a first-rate knight, far superior to his peers in Camelot, who, faced with the spectre of death, grew silent with cowardice, as the honor of the King lay unguarded.
How to Cite this Page
"Gawain's Moral Superiority Revealed in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the Pearl poet’s Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, an epic talk emerges to reveal a man’s journey of honesty, morals, and honor. Sir Gawain accepts a challenge in place of his uncle King Arthur, with hidden tests and viable consequences. As Gawain begins his journey, he proudly upholds his knightly honor and seeks out his own death; however, Gawain gives into his human emotion and is soon distracted from his chivalrous motives. As a result of this distraction, Gawain is marked with a scar to show his dishonest and cowardly deception.... [tags: Sir Gawain and The Green Knight]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Character Analysis of Sir Gawain "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell" is a medieval romance poem written by an anonymous author. Sir Gawain is one of the major characters in the poem. He is a very likable personality. Sir Gawain represents an ideal knight of the fourteenth century. Throughout the story, we see Sir Gawain portrayed as a very courteous and noble knight, always trying to help King Arthur. The characteristics of Sir Gawain like kindness, generosity and firmness are revealed from his actions.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1998 words (5.7 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Lines 1372-1453 from The Norton Anthology of English Literature Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written in the fourteenth century by an anonymous poet who was a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. The story was originally written in a Northern dialect. It tells the story of Sir Gawain's first adventure as a knight. This section of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight pertains to the agreement between Bercilak de Hautdesert, the host, and Gawain. Bercilak is to go hunting in the morning, while Gawain sleeps.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
476 words (1.4 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Nothing is known about the author who wrote the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Yet it is considered one of the greatest works from the Middle English era. It tells a tale of a mysterious and magical figure (The Green Knight) who presents a challenge to the pride and wealth of Arthur's kingdom. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge. However, the real test of the Green Knight isn't about strength or swordsmanship. It's a test of character. During Christmas at Camelot, the celebration is interrupted by the entrance of the Green Knight.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
656 words (1.9 pages)
- Sir Gawain and The Green Knight The story, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, was told in the14th century by an anonymous poet about a young knight on his first adventure. In my analysis of Part 4, lines 2358 through 2350, I will discuss the significance of the number three, the tap, the asking of the Green Knight his name, and the green belt. I will develop the theory that the author uses this story and these significant symbols to bring out his Christian beliefs about the flesh and its weakness.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
911 words (2.6 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Gawain Finds The Green Knight's Castle PASSAGE ANALYSIS LINES 763-841 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian story about the first adventure of Sir Gawain (King Arthur's nephew). The author and date of this romance are not exactly known but may be dated circa 1375-1400, because the author seems to be a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer. From the very start of the story, the author gives a grand introduction for Arthur and his court, and then Arthur's men are described as "bold boys" (line 21) which means that they are brave, but only boys.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
1356 words (3.9 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - lines 491-565 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest 14th century text. The poem is made up of two stories, one (the testing at Bercilak's castle) set inside the other (the beheading of the Green Knight at the beginning and the return blow at the end). The unknown author describes in the poem adventure of the brave and courageous Sir Gawain who challenges the Green Knight. The passage that starts Part II of the poem illustrates the feast given to honor Sir Gawain for his bravery and courage after he meets the first challenge of the Green Knight.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
436 words (1.2 pages)
- Passage Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In this passage, we find ourselves in King Arthur's court during a Christmas feast. A Green Knight has just proposed a challenge before the court, a game in which a blow for a blow shall be given. Seeing that no one is willing to accept this challenge, King Arthur himself steps up to the Green Knight, ready to defend his honor. Sir Gawain, being a noble knight, asks the court if he can replace King Arthur in the game. His wish is granted. The passage begins as King Arthur calls Sir Gawain to his side to give him his weapon and blessing.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest fourteenth century text. It was written by an unknown author between 1375 and 1400. The story begins at Christmas time, and there are many symbolic elements. The Green Knight is a color which symbolizes Christmas. Also, changing seasons and the coming of winter symbolize the passing of life and reminds us that Death is unavoidable. The author also skillfully illustrates human weaknesses in the descriptions of Gawain's temptations.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
665 words (1.9 pages)
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain proves to be a hero and role model. Perhaps if Sir Gawain were living among us today, he would have his own line of action figures, comic books, and of course a line of chic evening wear. In lines 712 -762 in the Norton Anthology, we see that through dangerous foes and perilous weather, Sir Gawain leans on the strength of God to get him through his journey. Though he meets many dangers in the forest, he defeats them all, using skill and bravery. Traveling through horrid weather conditions, he keeps forging ahead, remaining true to his vow.... [tags: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
702 words (2 pages)