This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Sir Gawain An Ideal Symbol Of Chivalry

803 words - 3 pages

Sir Gawain - An Ideal Symbol of Chivalry

The chivalric code is a very complex, and perhaps somewhat foreign concept to a modern person. There are many rules and taboos that a knight must obey. Indeed, the very concepts of honor, love, and humility have been raised to the highest conceivable power, making it almost impossible for a mortal to become a true, perfect knight. Sir Gawain, in the passage [Norton, 1535-1622] of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, proves himself to be an ideal symbol of chivalry. One of the symbols of knighthood is a lady of knight's heart; knight's behavior with ladies is important in general, and Sir Gawain behaves as a true knight with the hostess of the castle. Another important side of being a knight includes the skill of carving an animal, and that is also described in the passage.

One aspect of being a knight is choosing a lady of his heart. The knight is supposed to perform noble tasks in her honor, thus glorifying her name. Love is knight's inspiration for all of his actions, and when he thinks he has done enough glorious deeds, he comes back to his lady. If his lady is kind enough, she will marry him, unless she is already married. In the passage, the host's wife tries to seduce Sir Gawain. However, she is not the lady of his dreams, and since Sir Gawain follows the principle -- "to remember a knight is to reflect goodness in everything he does, for that is what makes a knight honorable, " he politely turns her offer down. It is possible that Sir Gawain refuses hostess' charms because he is afraid of her husband; however, with the whole story evolving around Sir Gawain's nobility, it is highly unlikely that this is a reason for him.

Sir Gawain does this in a way that does not make the hostess feel bad in any way. He says that he is pleased that "The one so worthy as you would willingly come And take the time and trouble to talk with your knight And content you with his company" [Norton, 1537-1539], intending to show her that he is not worthy enough of her love. All he can do is "to please, as honor behooves" [Norton, 1547] and only because honor obliges him. So she tests him and tries to lure him to sin, but his defense is impeccable. The lady realizes that Sir Gawain is truly noble,...

Find Another Essay On Sir Gawain - An Ideal Symbol of Chivalry

A Knights Chivalry “An Analysis Of Chivalry”

959 words - 4 pages A Knights Chivalry “An Analysis Of Chivalry” Chivalry, or the code of conduct that the Knights of out past used to justify their actions, towards country and state. It is greatly expressed in the stories that were passed down orally and written down, but these traits were many, including: Courage, Honor, and the treatment of women. These three traits are discussed wholly throughout the tales of King Arthur’s day, because like

Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1044 words - 4 pages , but he has the makings of an ideal knight. Gawain shows honor and courage by honoring the agreement he makes with the Green Knight. He ventures from Arthur’s court in search of the Green Knight and arrives in a forest where he prays for a place to stay so that he can hear mass on Christmas Eve: “No sooner had Sir Gawain signed himself thrice than he was ware, in the wood, of a wondrous dwelling” (Norton, 312). Gawain sees a castle in the middle of

Personification of Ideologies in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

1215 words - 5 pages When Christianity was first brought to the isle of England by the Romans in the fifth or sixth century, it heavily influenced the ancient pagan religions that were pre-established by the inhabiting Anglo-Saxons. The two very different faiths quickly began to merge and Christianity adopted certain aspects of pagan mythology before eventually overwhelming it. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight gives the reader an interesting look at the different

The Story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1581 words - 6 pages , forcing their leader, Sir Arthur, to accept. Sir Gawain performs the virtuous act of taking on the challenge in Sir Arthur’s place to protect his lord from taking any part of an unusual challenge that might kill a man. In the story Sir Gawain explains his reason for taking his lord’s place, “I hold, none more honest of purpose, no figures fairer on field where fighting is waged. I am the weakest. I am aware, and in wit feeblest, and the least

Essay comparing/contrasting heroic styles of Beowulf and Sir Gawain

851 words - 3 pages Throughout history, different cultures have held different virtues in the highest regard. The Anglo-Saxons, like the anonymous scop of the poem Beowulf, valued strength and courage over any other quality. On the other hand, the earliest English people, like the poet of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, respected honor and the basic codes of chivalry over all else. Both Beowulf and Sir Gawain, therefore, display the most favored qualities of their

Beowulf and Sir Gawain: a Comparison of Two Heroes

1535 words - 6 pages chosen for you is an inescapable certainty, no doubt reflecting the beliefs of their time. Beowulf and Gawain both had key figures within their tale that influenced the struggles they faced. Beowulf was chiefly influenced and gained the most respect from Hrothgar and Sir Gawain volunteered to fight the Green Knight in the place of King Arthur. Hrothgar was an older, wiser ruler. When Beowulf offers his assistance to Hrothgar, Hrothgar feels

Story of an Ideal Feminist

1572 words - 7 pages he wraps up his motivation in the novel. While the woman's rights may not be clear at the end of this relationship, it is there. Hooks gives the ideal depiction of Janie's newly discovered voice when she at long last opposes Joe's mastery and talks up: "Correct talking is not exclusively an outflow of imaginative force; it is a demonstration of safety, a political signal that tests the sexual orientation governmental issues of command that

Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

774 words - 3 pages Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Beowulf is an epic poem that was written in the Anglo-Saxon time period where only a few privileged people were able to read and write while Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is also an epic poem, was written in the Middle English time period where reading and writing was more wide-spread. While both the epic poem Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have similar

Comparing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Song of Roland

930 words - 4 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Song of Roland           In mythological Europe, knightly heroes abounded whereever one could choose to roam.  There are hundreds of tales of knights who embodied the concept of chivalry, slew huge dragons, slew legions of foes in single combat, and still made it home in time for dinner.  Of all these tales, ballads and poems, a few have

A Comparison of Religion in Sir Gawain and Green Knight and Othello

1653 words - 7 pages Role of Religion in Sir Gawain and Othello      Respect for religion and government is an important part of any country, but what happens to a country when these values begin to change?  England was beginning to go through this change in 1603 when Othello was written by William Shakespeare.  Comparing the religious themes and heroes of Othello to the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which was written during the Middle English era

Comparing the Role of Women in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1322 words - 5 pages Beowulf, women are responsible for being "queenly and dignified" (621). Wealhtheow is, "decked out in rings" (621), and "Adorned in her gold" (614). She is being described like an object that is dressed this way in order to glorify her husband. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Queen Guenevere is described as, "Guenevere the goodly queen gay in the midst/ On a dais well-decked and duly arrayed/ With costly silk curtains, a canopy over,/ Of

Similar Essays

Sir Gawain: The Ideal Knight Essay

1213 words - 5 pages Sir Gawain: The Ideal Knight Throughout the Arthurian legends, Sir Gawain seems to be the epitome of a noble knight. He is always putting his king before himself, repeatedly sacrificing his own life in some way for King Arthur. He is an honorable knight that lives up to his word. This is evident in both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell." In these

Chivalry. Refers To "Sir Gawain And The Green Knight"

984 words - 4 pages We live in an age where the brutality and the vigilante justice of the knight errant is no longer acceptable for people with positions of stature in society. While courage and honor are still praised by society, one rarely finds a man true to his word regardless of cost. Chivalry towards ladies is sometimes mistakenly decried by those supporting equality for women. And Courtly love, in it's modern form, is frowned upon. Those who might have a

Human Nature And Medieval Chivalry In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Translated By Burton Raffel

928 words - 4 pages In the alliterative poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both human nature and medieval chivalry are manifested. Sir Gawain bravely accepts the game of the Green Knight. Sir Gawain's shield posses a pentangle along with the face of Mary, mother of Christ. He then playfully agrees to the game proposed by the host of the castle. The protagonist, Sir Gawain, accepts a green belt from Bercilak's wife. Gawain denies the guide's offer at the woods

Chivalry In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, The Knight’s Tale, And Malory’s Morte

2137 words - 9 pages chivalry’s history fails to account for the shifting ground that surrounds this term. However, regardless of an individual culture or poet’s conception of chivalry, it remained a popular ideal. Indeed, it was most often communicated within the genre of romance, and romance is among the most popular of medieval genres. Often times, these romances not only celebrate the ideal of chivalry but they also examine and critique it. Certainly, the form