Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1993 words - 8 pages

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a poem written during the medieval period about the Arthurian legend. Although the author is anonymous, it is apparent that "the dialect of Sir Gawain points to an origin in provincial England, and it represents the cultural centers which remote from the royal court at London where Geoffrey Chaucer spent his life" (Norton, 200). This poem is considered one of the best works of Middle English literature. One reason is that the author was able to ingeniously combine two different plots, folklore and romance, into one literary work. The other reason is the author’s elaborate, but brilliant usage of alliterations and rhymes.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is about a Green Knight, a figure that many consider to be an immortal, who challenges Arthur’s court. Sir Gawain, the most courageous and noble knight of the court, accepts the Green Knight’s challenge for the sake of King Arthur’s reputation. Believing that he is acting on behalf of the king, Sir Gawain does not know that it is really a test of his own chivalry. The following passage that I will analyze introduces and describes the Green Knight. Here, I will talk about the importance of the knight’s attitude, size, and his greenish color. All these are significant elements, as you will see, that help to demonstrate his condemnation of the court.

The author begins by telling us how the Green Knight breaks into the dining hall as everyone is about to be served their main course, "there hurtles in at the hall-door an unknown rider" (Norton, 205). Although this behavior is very rude, we must be able understand why the Green Knight acts this way because he has absolutely no respect whatsoever for all the knights in the court. In addition, King Arthur is very childish himself, "but Arthur would not eat till all were served; so light was his lordly heart, and a little boyish" (Norton, 204). Thus, having such a weak leader, there is a perfect excuse for the Green Knight to look down upon the court. He feels that the knights in the hall are a shame to the code of chivalry because their power and ability are simply overstated. So, we can see that the Green Knight is fearless of the court, for he knows that its highly praised reputation is undeserved.

Following the description of the rude entrance is the description of the Green Knight's size:

...From broad neck to buttocks so bulky and thick,
And his loins and his legs so long and so great,
Half a giant on earth I hold him to be,
But believe him no less than the largest of men... (Norton, 205)

The above lines add more to the description of the Green Knight’s boldness and strength. Being a giant and the largest of all men, the Knight is once again described as superior to all the rest of the knights in the dining hall: "And formed with every feature in fair...

Find Another Essay On Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1082 words - 4 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Sir Gawain Faces Temptation      Sir Gawain was known as a noble and honest man who was willing to stare death in the face to protect King Arthur. However, the courtly Sir Gawain is submitted to the unexpected—not to the test he expects, but to one he does not expect (qtd. in Spearing). The underlying theme throughout the entire poem is temptation, which, is Sir Gawain’s greatest

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

1504 words - 7 pages The poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight compares a super natural creature to nature. The mystery of the poem is ironic to the anonymous author. The story dates back into the fourteenth century, but no one knows who originally wrote the poem. This unknown author explains in the poem of Sir Gawain not knowing of the location of the Green Chapel and or who the Green Knight really is. This keeps the reader entertained with the suspicion of not

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

804 words - 3 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale spun from the Legends of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Typically intended to inspire lessons of chivalry and humility, Sir Gawain’s story follows the road paved by previous Camelot accounts. In thoroughly providing an analysis of this story one must first determine the plot, followed by the metaphorical use of illustration and imagery, which the storyteller employed in order to reveal

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

1623 words - 6 pages Sir Gawain and The Green Knight Summary The story begins in King Arthur's court, where he and the Knights of the Round Table are celebrating New Year's. While they are enjoying their feast, a gigantic Green Knight rides in on a green horse with an immense axe in his hand to offer them a challenge. His offer is: "I shall bide the fist blow, as bare as I sit…….., but in twelve month and one day he shall have of me the same." (Norton

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

846 words - 3 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight As with so many stories written in the Middle Ages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is filled with wonders, magic and knightly pursuit of fame and nobility. It combines folklore and romance as does, according to The Norton Anthology, no other known work. The character of the Green Knight fascinates and amuses. Most people would not think of it as an Arthurian-time creature. The Green Man in fact, is a part of

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

2388 words - 10 pages . The legendary King Arthur and his court in Camelot are the center of Arthurian legend that defined the chivalric code that was followed for centuries in Europe by knights. Arthurian legend through stories such as Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, defined the chivalric code and exemplified its uses throughout its plot. Even before the men in these steel suits knew these characteristics, Arthurian legend was developed in its earliest stages. While

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

1466 words - 6 pages In the Pearl poet’s Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, an epic talk emerges to reveal a man’s journey of honesty, morals, and honor. Sir Gawain accepts a challenge in place of his uncle King Arthur, with hidden tests and viable consequences. As Gawain begins his journey, he proudly upholds his knightly honor and seeks out his own death; however, Gawain gives into his human emotion and is soon distracted from his chivalrous motives. As a result

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

603 words - 2 pages admiration of all. Sometimes, the main character becomes a hero by overcoming some force within his or her own self. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this is ultimately what Gawain must do in order to be considered a hero. Sir Gawain is originally faced with the challenge of the Green Knight. The Green Knight appears in King Arthur's court and causes a disturbance, issuing an open invitation to all in the court "to strike one stroke for

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

1023 words - 5 pages The Poet’s Quiet Attack Throughout modern and ancient literature, much has been discussed about the culture of knightly chivalry, particularly that of King Arthur’s Court. Some of these pieces praise the principles of this culture, while some seek to critique or attack them. One example of the latter is the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by an author known as the Pearl Poet. In this 14th century classic, popular views on knighthood are

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1183 words - 5 pages Adjustments to development: Learning from mistakes or failures A knight so devoted to chivalry who is strong to protect his lord and lady can prove to be imperfect when tested of their personal ability and conscience. Sir Gawain, a noble knight, has gained a lot of experience from his journey to meet the Green Knight at the Green Chapel; learning that it was all planned by Morgana Le Fay to prove Gawain?s cowardice with the challenge of the

"Sir Gawain and the green knight"

789 words - 3 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a poem written in the alliterative form, which tends to connect the two halves of each poetic line through alliteration, or repetition of consonants. The poem also uses rhyme to structure its stanzas, and each group of long alliterative lines concludes with a word or phrase containing two syllables and a quatrain. Together, they are identified as the "bob and wheel". They provide commentaries on what has just

Similar Essays

"Sir Gawain And The Green Knight." By Sir Gawain

1170 words - 5 pages Sir Gawain and the Green GirdleThe distant effects brought upon by Sir Gawain keeping a Green Girdle are presented in the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. There are several accounts where the main character, Sir Gawain, fights his inner human nature. Gawain is essentially a knight, and ultimately a human being that like all human beings, fears death. A green girdle given to him by a lord's lady in the end saves his life. However, Sir

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1962 words - 8 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Character Analysis of Sir Gawain "The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell" is a medieval romance poem written by an anonymous author. Sir Gawain is one of the major characters in the poem. He is a very likable personality. Sir Gawain represents an ideal knight of the fourteenth century. Throughout the story, we see Sir Gawain portrayed as a very courteous and noble knight, always trying to help King Arthur

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight 956 Words

956 words - 4 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In this passage taken from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Lines 1623-1718, the reader sees how Sir Gawain is the hero of the poem, through the tests of the host. Sir Gawain is speaking to the host of the castle where he is staying for a few days before journeying on to the Green Chapel. The host has just returned from hunting and killing some boar. While the host is out hunting for the boar, we learn that

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

2183 words - 9 pages Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the poet depicts an entertaining story of adventure and intrigue. However, the poem is more than a grand adventure. It is an attempt to explore the moral ideals of Sir Gawain. Gawain's standards are represented by the pentangle on his shield. The depiction of the pentangle occurs when Sir Gawain is preparing to gear up for his quest for the Green Chapel. Gawain's outfit