Premium Essay

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ERG227
Words 763
Pages 4
Honor and Courage Persevere

The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by John Gardner, is set in the Middle Ages. This was a time in history when people focused on the values and ideals of the Code of Chivalry, a code of honor intended to govern knightly behavior. As Arthur and his knights get together to feast and celebrate Christmas and the new year their festivities were interrupted by a man of green who wandered about searching for adventure so that he can disprove his chivalry. The two values that are most clearly stated in the poem are courage and honor. It will become clear by the actions of the characters that courage and honor is shown in several different areas of the poem.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, courage is defined as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” Courage can be shown in a variety of ways. In this particular instance the Green Knight challenged King Arthur or any of the knights of the roundtable to take his ax and hit his bare neck. He said to them, “And I will stand still for your stroke, steady on the floor, / provided you honor my right, when my inning comes, / to repay” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 213). Clearly, the Green Knight shows a tremendous amount of courage, knowing the danger that it is going to befall him if one of the knights takes up the ax to his neck. Sir Gawain is another instance where courage was lost and then found. After a year, Gawain met the Green Knight to seal his portion of the deal and allow the Green Knight to bring down the ax in his bare neck. Sir Gawain flinched in fear the first two times. Then “Gawain stands there stirring not even a nerve; / he stood there still as a stone or the stock of a tree/ that’s wedged in rocky ground by a hundred roots” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 218-219). The Green Knight...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Carnivalesque Features in Sir Gawain and the Green Kinght

...Carnivalesque features in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Games and Challenges Whenever Carnival is mentioned, whether it is on Mikhail Bakhtin’s work: Rabelais and his world on any other document, it is said that it was considered to be a second life for people of the Middle Ages. It was an opportunity for them to laugh, eat a lot, enjoy themselves and escape from the rigidity of the feudal system. There are many features that are characteristic of the carnival, such as big banquets of food, inversion of social classes, humourists, lots of singing and laughing. Throughout this essay, I will focus on one of the features that called my attention when I first read one of the better-known Arthurian stories: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the games. I will explore some of the challenges proposed throughout this romance. Whenever we play a game, whichever it is, we intend to win or to get something out of it. However, I will demonstrate that in this period and by playing tournaments and challenging themselves, people were not exactly looking forward to defeating their opponent or win money, but what they wanted the most was to forget about their original role in society, act as equals, feel liberated and mainly have fun. Let us begin with one of the first proposal for amusement initiated by King Arthur on his court: ‘His noble announcement that he never would eat On such a fair feast-day till informed in full Of some unusual adventure, as yet untold, Of some......

Words: 1387 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Sir Gawain Versus Beowulf

...Sir Gawain Versus Beowulf Strength can be described as the audacity to fight until the last breath. In the case of both Sir Gawain and Beowulf these were the ideals that these men followed. In the poems Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and Beowulf, the main characters, Sir Gawain and Beowulf, show the physical attribute of strength and valor. However, Sir Gawain and Beowulf are different in the form of strength and qualities. One represented a king who fought for the people and the other who showed loyalty towards the kingship. Beowulf was regarded as an ideal hero by the Anglo Saxon community. The main trait that regards him as the perfect hero was his courage and strength that he shows at the very end of his life. Beowulf shows his physicality throughout the story. "Beowulf, Higlac follower and the strongest of the Geats - greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in the world"(Beowulf 46). This quote exemplifies the fact that Beowulf is considered the best warrior in the region. He is also considered by many people to have superhuman abilities and superhuman strength when he ferociously rips the arm off of Grendel in the poem. Beowulf portrays the ideals of an epic hero as well as the elements of Germanic tribes which gave him super human strength and super human qualities. He is also " A man of great strength " (Helen web). This also reinstates the detail that shows the agile nature in Beowulf and also physical toughness of him as a whole. As a result, Beowulf is a......

Words: 983 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Satire

...​     King arthur satire essay    Chivalry was the great code of conduct respected by the knights and heroes during the romantic medieval  era. Marked by honor, courtesy, and generosity, chivalry included  skill, valor, loyalty to both God and  the king, having  sympathy towards the sick, oppressed. Within the same general area of chivalry was  courtly love. The men fought to attain their ladys affections and love by waging war in their name, or by  romancing them. Knights were to devote themselves entirely to one woman.This love was was between a  knight and a married woman. However, in each of these pieces are also characters who stray from this  ideal code of conduct, Seen in Monty python and the holy grail.        Sir Gawain in the Green Knight is a story about chivalrous values and trickery. This story involves the  Green knight’s arrival at King Arthur’s feast one evening. The green knight challenges the king to his  game and just as King Arthur accepts Sir Gawain insists on accepting the challenge instead. The Green  knight is beheaded, but picks his head up and tells Sir Gawain that he must meet him in one year so that  he can return the challenge. Sir Gawain sets off on his journey one year later and arrives at a castle. He is  graciously let inside where he stays a few days. The lord / the green knight creates a game of his own  involving the Lord hunting and Sir Gawain remaining at the castle with the game  to test his chivalry and  his faith. In m...

Words: 754 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Role of Lady Bertilak in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

...The Role of Lady Bertilak in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The role of women was a key role in medieval times. In the poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, two women represent this role. They are Lady Bertilak, who is Lord Bertilak’s wife, and Morgan La Faye. It all starts when Sir Gawain is welcomed to Lord Bertilak’s castle and then he meets these two women living there. At all times, Bertilak requests Gawain to feel at home and socialize with these women without problems. Bertilak trusts Gawain even though he would be away and Gawain would remain alone with women. However, his nameless wife uses many different ways to chase Sir Gawain and take advantage of her condition as the host’s wife. Lady Bertilak is a superior being that uses seduction and a supernatural power as a tool to hunt Sir Gawain in order to break his Christian, chivalric and loyal codes. Scholars, that I’ll mention it later, agree that women can emotionally manipulate men, but lacked political power in real life. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight poem is represented by two women mentioned above. “Morgan the Goddess therefore is now her name; none has such high haughtiness that she cannot make full tame” (¶ 98, P. 83). Even though Morgan la Faye, considered to be “The Goddess”, does not appear much in the poem, she represents a certain passive feminine power. Nonetheless, Lord Bertilak’s wife is shown as an active feminine power. She embodies a male character and specifically in the room......

Words: 1672 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Heroes of the Ages: Comparison and Contrast of Medival Ages

...and nation in which they live. The classical hero and medieval hero will be the focus of this essay. Three great heroes from the early classic to medieval periods are Beowulf, Achilles, and Sir Gawain. The paper will look at the similarities and differences of literary heroes in order to discover how heroes changed over time. Beowulf and Sir Gawain are romantic heroes full of bravery, loyalty, humility, courage, and virtue. Beowulf and Sir Gawain were both involved in battles of great magnitude and admired for their super human strength. Both of them battle with the intent to bring honor to the King: Sir Gawain to honor King Arthur and Beowulf to honor Hrothgar. The battles they fight are against good and evil, “Grendel is a shepherd of evil” and the Green Knight represents pre- Christian tribal paganism. The custom of the time period was to keep their word and honor the one who helped them rise to knighthood. Beowulf kept his word as seen in the poem as he returns from the adventures and presents all his gifts to Hygelac as a sign of loyalty (line 2145). Sir Gawain keeps his word with Lord Bertilak, by agreeing to exchange their winnings at the end of each day (Sir Gawain 1105-1113). Beowulf and Sir Gawain differ as heroes in several ways. First, Sir Gawain is an Arthurian Hero and as such holds to a Christian faith while Beowulf holds to the pagan history of Britain. Sir Gawain draws strength from his devotion to Christ and the five social graces of generosity,......

Words: 934 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Forbidden Love

...Lauren Garner ENG 210 Mark Taylor October 20, 2013 Essay 1 Forbidden Love In reading classic British literature a theme has come across of forbidden love and the perils it holds. Forbidden love harms those who wield it and sometimes it even harms those the love is aimed at. Forbidden love, also known as “fals amor,” is shown in pieces like “Morte Darthur” or “The Franklin’s Tale,” from “The Canterbury Tales.” The forbidden love shown in these tales is always were one person is married and the other is not. “The Franklin’s Tale,” “Morte Darthur,” and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” all reveal how forbidden love will end tragically. Each of these works has a married woman who is either loved by another or is in love with another. However, no matter the case the one with the forbidden love is aggrieved in the end because they love cannot become mutual or accepted by others. “The Franklin’s Tale” tells of a woman, Dorigen, and a knight, Arveragus, who marry for love. Arveragus must go to battle for a few years and a nobleman, Arelius, comes to light that loves Dorigen. Arelius and Dorigen make a bet where if Arelius wins Dorigen must become his bride. She agrees confidant in his ability to fail in this task. Arelius succeeds, though, with the help of a sorcerer after two years of despondency. When Arveragus arrives home he finds Dorigen distraught, upon hearing the bet he decides that she must keep her side of the bet, though it pains them both greatly. Upon hearing of......

Words: 745 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Beowulf

...Beowulf/SGGN Essay Beowulf, a strong and courageous king, willing to defend his people and his honor at any given moment, was the definition of an epic Anglo-Saxon hero. He conquered his enemies with strength and power and ruled over his people with wisdom. From the 7th century, in which Beowulf was written, to the late 14th century there was an evolution in the type of heroic characters that were portrayed in epic stories. You can see this change in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Gawain, a noble knight of king Arthur, was humble and full of integrity. Although claiming to be the least of Arthur’s knights he was well respected across the land. He was a man of his word and a true representation of a chivalric hero. Both characters in these stories were brave and daring and shared some heroic qualities but they held individual traits as well that made them distinct and one of a kind. Beowulf is depicted in the self titled poem to be adventurous, brave, strong, determined, and willing to take any challenge. The poem focuses on three main battles that help the audience determine his character; his fight against Grendel, his victory over Grendel’s mother, and his defeat with the fire breathing dragon. In these confrontations you can understand that he was a hero, a guardian, and a protector. He rescued those in need by conquering whatever was threatening them. One example is shown when Beowulf is introducing himself to King Hrothgar. He says, “ I battled...

Words: 1418 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

How to Do a Critical Reading

...suggest balance and to present pairs of ideas of equal value. 3. Use complex sentence to emphasize the most important ideas and to subordinate less important ideas. 4. Avoid "empty" sentence frames that say little or restate the obvious. 5. Use present tense when referencing details in a literary work except for passages written in the past tense. 6. Incorporate short, key quoted phrases into analytical sentences. 7. Avoid the use of such words and phrases as "you" and "the reader" that often lead to wordiness. 8. Avoid the phrase, "In conclusion," when opening the concluding paragraph. 9. Avoid gratuitous complements and superlatives. Paragraph Development 1. Use Pattern 1 paragraph frames for most paragraphs in the body of academic essays. 2. Begin body paragraphs with claims as topic sentences that repeat key concepts from the thesis sentence. 3. Always introduce the speaker, context, and/or significance of block quotations. 4. Always follow block quotations with a response that clarifies the significance of the quoted passage. 5. Avoid lengthy quotations. 6. Use a balanced reference to the readings of a text, including combinations of allusions, paraphrases, summaries, and quotations. 7. Enhance the discussion of the topic sentence with both primary development (explanation of the main idea in the topic sentence) and...

Words: 4605 - Pages: 19

Free Essay

Analytical Essay

...Dr. Parker English 102: Sect. D09 Fall 2014 Paper 1: On Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Great Gatsby Format: Follow Easy Writer guidelines and those specified in “Using Quotations Effectively,” “The Thesis Statement,” “Mechanics” and “Integrating Sources” (under “Writing Tips” on Blackboard) Page Length: 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words) Due Dates: Preliminary draft uploaded to Blackboard––Friday, 9/19 (under Course Content/Formal Papers and Oral Presentations) Your draft should include at least the thesis paragraph and five passages that you plan to draw upon in the paper. Rough draft conferences––9/29-10/1 Prepare to read your draft to me during our meeting. Rough draft for peer review––Monday, 9/29 Bring hard copy to class for your peer editor to read. Final draft uploaded to Blackboard––Friday, 10/3 Leave your rough draft with peer editor’s comments at my office. You may choose either the creative or analytical essay option. If you do a creative paper now, for next paper, you will do an analytical paper. Creative Options For all creative treatments, please affix to your paper a one-page analysis of what your aims were in choosing this approach, what strategies your employed to carry out your aims, and how successful you feel you were in achieving your aims. You should draw on the texts themselves. If appropriate, you can incorporate passages from the texts into you own prose.......

Words: 722 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Las Vegas

...Writing English Composition Essays - Analitical, Autobiographical, Argument, Cause/Effect, Classification, Compare/Contrast, Comparison, Conversation, Creative+Writing, Critical, Deductive, Definition, Descriptive, Description, Dialog, Division, Exploratory, Expository, Informative, Interview, Inquiry, Journalistic, Narration, Observation. Personal Narrative, Place, Profile, Process, Proposal English Literature and Literary Analysis - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A & P, Antigone, Apocalypse Now, Araby, The Awakening, Barn Burning, Beowulf, Beloved, Bible, Birthmark, Blade Runner, The Bluest Eye, Candide, Canterbury Tales, Catcher in the Rye, Cathedral, Chrysanthemums, A Clockwork Orange, The Color Purple, Comparing Literary Works, Crime and Punishment, Death of a Salesman, Death in Venice, Desiree's Baby, A Doll's House, Dr. Faustus, Epic of Gilgamesh, Everyday Use, A Farewell to Arms, Frankenstein, The Grapes of Wrath, Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, Glass Menagerie, Gulliver's Travels, The Handmaid's Tale, Heart of Darkness, The Iliad, Invisible Man, Jane Eyre, The Joy Luck Club, The Lottery, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Metamorphosis, My Antonia, My Papa's Waltz, Neuromancer, The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex, On the Road, Oresteia, Paradise Lost, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Pride and Prejudice, A Raisin in the Sun, A Rose for Emily, The Scarlet Letter, Siddhartha, Sir Gawain and the Green......

Words: 503 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Elie Wiesel's Approach To Literature

...use of silence in the novels of Elie Wiesel, and at the ways Wiesel both demonstrates and gets around the fact that conventional language simply breaks down when it is used to talk about the Holocaust. I plan to expand on the same project for my senior English thesis. For this thesis I am studying the ways Wiesel uses silence in the literal content of his novels and in his writing technique, and am working toward explanations as to how he gives these silences meaning. My fluency in French from my semester of study in Grenoble has been invaluable since most of Wiesel's works were written originally in French. My thesis involves close, formalist readings of Wiesel's novels, and is enriched by theoretical work. (This thesis appears as "Senior Essay" on my transcript; that designation will change next semester to "Thesis.") My second major project this year is a self-designed research project which has just replaced comprehensive exams in...

Words: 1037 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wewa

...the astrolabe. Short Poems The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse ,Truth, Gentilesse, Merciles Beaute, Lak of Stedfastnesse, Against Women Unconstant.  Geoffrey Chaucer   Thomas Malory's (1405-1471) :  Morte d'Arthur. work: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (by anonymous). 1500-1660: The English Renaissance 1500-1558: Tudor Period (Humanist Era)   The Humanists: Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) : Utopia, The History of King Richard the Third, The Life of Pico della Mirandola, The Four Last Things, A Dialogue Concerning Tyndale, The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation and Sadness of Christ . Sir Thomas More  John Skelton (1460-1529):  A ballade of the Scottysshe Kynge  John Skelton  Sir Thomas Wyatt(1503-1542):  My Lute Awake! Once, As Methought, Fortune Me Kissed They Flee From Me The restful place ! renewer of my smart It may be good, like it who list In faith I wot not what to say There Was Never Nothing More Me Pained Patience ! though I have not Though I Cannot Your Cruelty Constrain Blame Not My Lute My Pen ! Take Pain The heart and service to you proffer'd Is It Possible? And Wilt Thou Leave Me Thus? Since so ye please to hear me plain Forget Not Yet The Tried Intent What Should I Say! Sir Thomas Wyatt. The Renaissance Period consists of four subsets: 1. 1558-1603: The Elizabethan Age (High Renaissance):  William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Comedies: All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, The Comedy of......

Words: 1263 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Accounting

...Law and the Humanities Online Dr. Hugo Walter Spring 2014 Email: HGW@BerkeleyCollege.edu HUM360 Online 4 Credit Hours Office Hours: Online every day, seven days a week (Sunday through Saturday). Please always feel free to email me with any questions. I will also designate an hour each week when I will be available on Blackboard IM to answer your questions. COURSE DESCRIPTION This course examines the treatment of legal themes in literature, music, film and other visual arts as part of a broader consideration of the relationship between the humanities and the law. Students will explore the ways that the humanities utilize different perspectives and aesthetic styles in the discussion of such legal themes as morality, justice, equality and authority. COURSE GOALS At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to: Articulate the contribution made by law and the humanities as a field of study. Articulate the ways that imaginative portrayals of law often convey concerns about the process and practice of law with greater persuasive force than factual texts. Identify recurring themes that are investigated in law and the humanities, such as the difference between legal and moral codes, the role of custom in establishing legal norms, the role of punishment, the imperfect functioning of the legal process, unfairness in the criminal justice system, bias against minorities and the poor. Understand the...

Words: 3295 - Pages: 14

Free Essay

It's Dannyboy

...Senior English Curriculum Map: 2010-2011 School Year English IV * Note: “Sacred Book List” Addendum is at the end of this document Quarter #1 August 23 to October 22 Essential Questions: 1. How do writers and artists organize or construct text to convey meaning? 2. What does it mean to be a stranger in the village? Unit Goals 1. To understand the relationship between perspective and critical theory. 2. To apply critical theories to various texts studied and created. 3. To control and manipulate textual elements in writing to clearly and effectively convey a controlling idea or thesis. Student Published Portfolios: For each of the first three quarters, students are required to complete three to four published writing portfolio products. Quarter 4 is devoted to completion of the Laureate Research Project. . Pacing: This map is one suggestion for pacing. Springboard pacing guides precede each unit in the “About the Unit” sections and offers pacing on a 45-minute class period length. Prentice Hall Literature – Use selections from Prentice Hall throughout the quarter to reinforce the standards being taught as well as the embedded assessments within the SpringBoard curriculum. QUARTER #1 SpringBoard Curriculum Pacing Guide August 23 – October 22 Standards and Benchmarks | Unit Pacing Guide | SpringBoard Unit/Activities | Assessments | SpringBoard Unit 1Literature * The students will analyze and compare significant works......

Words: 2782 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

English Fiction

...http://www.historytoday.com/jerome-de-groot/signposts-historical-fiction These were some of the questions raised at a recent conference at the Institute of Historical Research at which History Today Editor, Paul Lay, hosted a discussion between Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, and the Tudor historian David Loades. Historians often describe themselves as detectives, seeking out a kind of truth among the conflicting evidence of the past. There is, furthermore, a large and growing subgenre of historical crime fiction. From C.J. Sansom to Philip Pullman, from Orhan Pamuk to Walter Mosley, from Ellis Peters to Boris Akunin, novelists have been keen to use the past as a backdrop for their stories of detection and mystery. The most famous historical detective might be Brother William of Baskerville in Umberto Eco’s peerless The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa, 1980). Recently we have seen a flowering of historical crime fiction as the subgenre attains maturity and becomes increasingly popular and innovative. Jason Goodwin, Philip Kerr and Susan Hill were all shortlisted for the prestigious Crime Writers Association Dagger this year (recent historical winners include Arianna Franklin, Jake Arnott and Craig Russell). Clearly the combination of thriller, crime and historical detail is compelling. Anne Perry’s new Inspector Pitt novel, Betrayal at Lisson Grove (out in paperback from Headline this year) is a pacy, twisting thriller. It is 1895 and Pitt is up against a......

Words: 5212 - Pages: 21