Archetypes In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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In one point in our lives, we complete a quest or a journey. It may be physically or emotionally, but we all go through one. An archetype represents a universal human experience; archetypes act most commonly in the great forms of literature, little do people know that archetypes occur in our everyday lives. We mostly notice archetypes in the medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and in the fiction The Hero with a thousand faces these heroes go through many archetypes in order to complete quests; also, he possesses many different archetypes during his quest. Gawain’s succession of trials leaves the hero, like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, a “sadder but wiser man.”
Noble knights fill the Camelot New Year’s feast. The author uses euphonious diction such as “vitality” and “joy” to express the peace (Weston 3). However, the “creature of nightmare” threatens the peace and happiness when he calls for not a duel but a quest (Weston 4). A quest for a brave knight to come chop off his head, and in a year, the “creature of nightmare” will return the favor to the brave knight. Crickets fill the room. Fear represents the theme because the knights must decide between their virtues or their lives. Arthur waits for one of his “noble knights” to answer, such as Sir Gawain, but instead refuses such a call. This conflict in this part of the romance describes man vs. self since Gawain must go against himself to choose whether to take on this quest. Just as in the Hero With a Thousand

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