The Ideals Of Knighthood In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight



In the medieval poem, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the poet, whose identity is unknown, speaks of the ideals of knighthood by describing chronicles of Sir Gawain, the noblest knight of King Arthur's court. Gawain accepts a challenge from the Green Knight and therefore must go on a quest to seek the Green Chapel and fulfill his bargain. Throughout the story, the poet presents Gawain as the classic example of a true knight by displaying instances of his loyalty, honor, courage, courtesy and purity.
An example of his loyalty occurs when Gawain takes on the challenge against the Green Knight. Gawain belittles himself as he tells the King Arthur that he is the least wise of all the ...

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only loyal, but also courageous, and worthy to have his attributes put to the test. This is done in the description of the shield that Gawain arms himself with to undertake his journey to the Green Chapel. The shield is adorned "with pentangle portrayed in purest gold.” This pentangle represents Gawain’s "faith in the five wounds of Christ and the five joys of the Virgin, and his possession of the five knightly virtues..." This display of Gawain’s purity reinforces his worthiness to undergo the test of his chivalry.
Honor is another virtue that a knight must possess. Gawain gives his word while accepting the beheading challenge that he will meet the Green Knight at the Green Chapel in one year’s time. His quest to find the Green Knight is not an easy task. The author’s vivid description of what Gawain must go through to get to the Green Chapel represents a test of Gawain’s honor. The author tells us:

"Many a cliff must he climb in country wild/ Far off from all
his ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/8/2007 09:15:37 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 744
Pages: 3

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