Archetypes In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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According to Joseph Campbell, archetypes are found just about everywhere in anything storytelling related as they are meant to serve as the foundation of a story. The departure, initiation and return are essentially the plot of any given story. Campbell describes this process as one that showcases the adventure of the “tales of a number of the world’s symbolic carriers of the destiny of Everyman” (Campbell 33). A prime example of this particular web of archetypes is portrayed in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as Gawain, the hero, journeys to find the Green Knight.
The call to the task arises when the Green Knight marches into Camelot and challenges one of king Arthur’s renowned knights to strike at him in return for a strike back from the Green Knight in a years time. At first none of the knights adhere to the challenge but after some astonishment and light mockery from the Green Knight, Sir Gawain accepts the challenge. Gawain only accepts the challenge in order to keep his pride and honor not just for himself, but for Camelot. Soon after realization hits, Gawain hesitates as he contemplates on whether or not to consider his life more valuable than his honor. Once he relinquishes his task he prays to God, his supernatural aid, which Campbell defines: “The first encounter of the hero journey is with a protective figure who provides the adventurer” (Campbell 63) with essentially some kind of guidance, which in this case God answers Gawain’s prayers as after Gawain prays he

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