Camelot: The Archetypal Environment In Sir Gawain

569 words - 2 pages

Camelot is the most ideal setting because it is has extravagant richness and fame, a structured hierarchy and, most of all, is the familiar, welcoming environment which Gawain ultimately chooses. Arthur's fame is world renown as it is compared with the Roman Empire or the great city of Troy for of "all that here abode in Britain as kings / ever was Arthur most honored" (20). Arthur and his Round Table contribute to "merriment unmatched," (20) and during the festivities, the citizens of Camelot enjoyed themselves with "all the meats and all the mirth that men could devise" (20). Camelot earns the title "under heaven first in fame," (21) for such a courteous and virtuous king with such loyal knights is an honor which should be given due respect. The days are filled with joyful dancing, gift exchanging, and amusing kissing games and the generous king and queen sit "ever the highest for the worthiest" (21) with good Gawain at the lady's side.King Arthur invites all, including the Green Knight, with generosity and respect. Yet, when the Green Knight insists on playing the Beheading Game, Gawain is quick to prevent Arthur from risking his life. This shows that regardless of the carefree and festive environment, Gawain is never forgetful of his first duty. All the activities at Camelot follow a strictly defined code. Whether the code be one for loyalty to the lord, for chivalry or for how to treat a guest, it is clear and easy to recognize. Camelot has an abundance of positive qualities which combine to form the model setting. As the model setting, Camelot also lacks many of the unattractive qualities of Lord Bertilak's castle...

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