Sir gawain essays

Gawain faces his death with courage. It is true that he desires to live because “… he left not his love-gift, the lady’s girdle; / Gawain, for his own good, forgot not that” (lines 2030-2031). The lady of the castle gives Gawain a girdle by which, if he wore it, no harm would come to him. However, she had tried to cheat on her husband and seduce Gawain, which doesn’t make for perfectly trusting feelings between people. Even though Gawain does trust the lady, the thought must go through his head that it is possible that she is lying and the girdle has no real power. Therefore, Gawain’s use of the girdle is a leap of faith, and he is still ready to accept death. When the lord of the castle (. the Green Knight) leaves Gawain at the Green Chapel, Gawain is alone for some time, but he actively seeks his opponent when he calls “Who has power in this place, high parley to hold? / For none greets Sir Gawain, or gives him good day; / If any would a word with him, let him walk forth / And speak now or never, to speed his affairs” (lines 2213-2216). When the Green Knight finally arrives, Gawain readies himself, and the Green Knight lifts his ax. Gawain shrinks back ever so slightly, to which the Green Knight questions Gawain’s courage. Gawain replies boldly to “… Strike once more; / I shall neither flinch nor flee” (lines 2280-2281). Gawain remains still for another two swings before the Green Knight reveals his true identity and intentions. Gawain has proven his courage many times over, and he is a true hero.

Of all the knights who attend Arthur’s court, none achieve greater fame than the main character, Sir Gawain. Throughout, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” the hero has to face many challenges that test his honor, loyalty, and values. What makes Sir Gawain a true champion is that he has to surpass obstacles without superhuman powers, a magic horse or a gleaming sword; he has to overcome difficulties as a real man to gain wisdom and responsibility. The three tests he has to conquer are the challenge of the Green Knight, the temptation of seduction, and facing his own death; all play a part in his quest for maturity.
First, Sir Gawain demonstrates courage by willingly accepting the monstrous challenge of the Green Knight. According to Field in, “A Rereading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” when Sir Gawain volunteers to accept the test in Arthur’s place, he reveals great fidelity to the promise he has made in order to become a knight, which is to protect his King at all times (3 of 16). The fundamental motivation for Gawain’s intervention is his sense of duty; he believes that a knight must extract his lord from unseemly situations. Also, Sir Gawain shows us that he is a true knight, not only by accepting the challenge, but also by facing death in honor of his king. By accepting the rules of the Green Knight’s challenge, Sir Gawain has to go on a dangerous journey to find the Green Chapel where he will receive hi blow in exactly a year and a day. Moreover, in, “Sir Gawain,” the knight shows determination when the his entourage doubts that he will fulfill his hazardous journey; he states that he has no reasons to stay in the castle, since he believes that in all fates, happy or miserable, all a man can do is attempt; this statement demonstrates a great deal of maturity (II. 562-565). Therefore, the reader can perceive that the Green Knight’s challenge makes Sir Gawain grow as an individual. Ultimately, Sir Gawain e...

Sir gawain essays

sir gawain essays


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