A Character Analysis of Sir Gawain as Presented In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

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A Character Analysis of Sir Gawain as Presented In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, the character of Sir Gawain is skillfully brought to life by the unknown author. Through the eyes of numerous characters in the poem, we see Gawain as a noble knight who is the epitome of chivalry; he is loyal, honest and above all, courteous. As the story progresses, Gawain is subjected to a number of tests of character, some known and some unknown. These tests tell us a great deal about Gawain's character and the struggles he faces internally. I will explore the various places in the poem where we learn about Gawain, either through others or through the tests he faces. By the end of the poem, we sense that we have…show more content…
Norton, 209 In this first meeting, through Gawain's own words, we begin to see him as the noble knight he is. Gawain has cleverly chosen his most courteous words to release Arthur from this predicament and restore the reputation of the knights of the Round Table. We cannot imagine a more courageous action than Gawain offering his life for his king nor a more polite offer to take the game. We are able to draw further clues about Gawain's character from the description of his armoring when he sets out a year later to meet the Green Knight. In this passage, we learn that Gawain's shield has gold pentangle on it. The author tells us the pentangle "is proper to that peerless prince" because it is a "token of truth," and he is most true to his word and a "most courteous knight." (Norton, 215) He goes on to say: The fifth of the five fives followed by this knight Were beneficence boundless and brotherly love And pure mine and manners, that none might impeach, And compassion most precious--these peerless five Were forged and made fast in him, foremost of men. Norton, 215-216 We have no reason to disbelieve the author nor his praise of Gawain. Our next chance to understand Gawain occurs at Bercilak's castle where the household is overjoyed that the holiday guest is Gawain of King Arthur's court. They whisper to each other that Gawain has "courage ever-constant, and customs pure," he is "the father of fine manners," and his "displays of deportment" will

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