A Comparative Essay On "Sir Gawain And The Green Knight" And "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" With Focus On The Impossibility Of Fulfilling The Chivalric Code

1070 words - 4 pages

Comparative Essay onSir Gawain and the Green Knight and Monty Python and the Holy GrailIt is impossible for a human being to fulfill all the ideals of the Chivalric Code and the seven Cardinal Virtues. Christian knights lived by the Chivalric Code to gain honor, but it was not possible even for the best and purest knights to always stick to these conventions of courtesy, generosity, loyalty, consistency, chastity, poverty, valor and skill. In addition to these components of the Chivalric Code, a knight was to follow the seven Cardinal Virtues, which were justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and charity.Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight demonstrates the problematic nature of chastity. As Sir Galahad (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) is on his quest to find the Holy Grail, he arrives at the Castle Anthrax where he imagined seeing his object of desire. In this castle, however, is no grail but many women "all between 16 and 19 and a half" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail). These women are trying to seduce him. While he is trying to resist the temptation in the beginning, he is perfectly willing to give up his chastity at the time Lancelot arrives to save him. Sir Galahad, who even has the epithet "the Chaste" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), is according to the Arthurian legend considered the purest and perfect knight. Consequently, he is the only one to possess the Holy Grail, although the moment he enters the castle, he has sex in his mind. Him having impure thoughts and almost failing to keep his chastity shows the impossibility of being a perfect knight.Sir Gawain is going through a similar situation, but since Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a parody, Sir Gawain's actions will have more important consequences. He is staying in the castle of Lord Bertilak and his wife. Within his stay at the castle, Lady Bertilak tries to seduce him. With her second attempt, she appeals to Sir Gawain's courtesy. "When a favour conferred," she informs him "it must be forthwith accepted:/ That is becoming for a courtly knight who keeps the rules." (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 77). Her referring to his courtesy makes it hard for him to withstand. Nevertheless, unlike Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain is not willing to give up is chastity. Yet, he considers it as Lady Bertilak offers him her young body to "do with it what [he] will:" (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 68). As a chaste knight, he fails his duty to avoid impure thoughts.Inevitable conflicts occur in both, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, between the individual parts of the Chivalric Code. As Sir Lancelot (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) attempts to save the supposed princess, he is to be brave but at the same time, his courtesy demands him to not interrupt the celebration. He tries to be impossibly brave as he...

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