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Archetypal Roles In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Decent Essays
In most literature today, there usually can be a specific diagram for the progression of the story and it relies on Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. Many stories include characters who explore many roles and use them to continue the plot. Within Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, these character archetypes are largely occupied by the Green Knight such as, the herald, the Evil Figure Who Is Ultimately Good, the Trickster, and the Minion. This allows the Green Knight to help Sir Gawain learn his lessons and develop the moral of the story. He exploits these characteristics to formulate Sir Gawain and as a result, demonstrates how a single character in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight can play many archetypal roles.
At the beginning of the story, the Green Knight comes rushing in to challenge the Knights of King Arthur. As he delivers the challenge, he mocks the knights for being weak and afraid, calling them unmasculine. The knight says, “Where are now your pride and your conquests, your wrath, and anger, and mighty words?” (Weston 6). The Green Knight plays the role of the Herald in this situation and informs the knights of his challenge. He opens the task to any knight who considers himself brave enough and maintains this level of authority. Campbell states that, “The herald or announcer of the adventure, therefore, is often dark, loathly, or terrifying,” (48). As King Arthur steps up to take the challenge, Sir Gawain stops him and declares that he will do it; “I
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