When you think of a knight what do you picture? Do you picture a fragile, cowardly, dishonorable man? Of course not, you picture a strong man who is willing to give up his life for the kingdom. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” retold by Susan Thompson, a legend is told of, Sir Gawain on his quest to protect his king and fellow knights’ honor. After the Green Knight had challenged them and embarrassed King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Gawain took up the challenge in an act of true chivalry. In this legend about a battle of knighthood between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is the better knight. He is a true romantic hero and follows the Knight’s Code of Chivalry, by serving the liege lord, King Arthur, in valor
Whats a good medieval romance without chivalry? The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak. “The world of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is governed by well-defined codes of behavior. ... The ideals of Christian morality and knightly chivalry are brought together in Gawain's symbolic shield. The pentangle represents the five virtues of knights: friendship, generosity, chastity, courtesy, and piety.”
In two stories there is a code that knights follow. Chivalry is the code that they follow. The code says that a knight should be a brave warrior, a good christian, and selflessly fighting for justice. The knights are supposed to fight for their king and queen. In the stories Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and from Morte d’Arthur they show the idea about chivalry.
Essay with Outline Loyalty, courage, honor, purity, and courtesy are all attributes of a knight that displays chivalry. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is truly a story of the test of these attributes. In order to have a true test of these attributes, there must first be a knight worthy of being tested, meaning that the knight must possess chivalric attributes to begin with. Sir Gawain is self admittedly not the best knight around. He says "I am the weakest, well I know, and of wit feeblest; / and the loss of my life [will] be least of any" (Sir Gawain, l. 354-355). To continue on testing a knight that does not seem worthy certainly will not result in much of a story, or in
The code of chivalry is an expectation that knights will protect their lords, have courage in battle and respect women (Beck 365). The aftermath of the affair between Sir Launcelot and Queen Gwynevere ended in the loss of two great knights and a war that sparked more conflict. That was all brought on because Queen Gwynevere wasn't faithful to her husband, King Arthur. Sir Lancelot's love for Queen Gwynevere is the reason he broke the code of chivalry. The lady of the manor repeatedly tempted Sir Gawain with riches, and he passed, except when she offered a sash that would save his life. When he took the sash, that was the moment that he failed the test of the Green Knight and the dishonored the code of chivalry. The women in these two stories may not have been one hundred percent responsible for the knights breaking the code of chivalry, but in the long run caused much worse events than the breaking of the code of
There are many misunderstandings with the word chivalry, one of them being that the knight never actually swore an oath of chivalry until later in the middle ages. Chivalry was a word that was created by French-speaking English nobility, during the medieval period. The word originates from the French word cheval meaning horse, and the French word Knecht meant knight, by putting the two words together, we get the word chevalier which meant horseman. During the early medieval ages, a knight was known as a chevalerie which meant horseman. Then the lords, who ruled over the
An act of chivalry is described as the qualifications or character of the ideal knight. Knights were expected to uphold this code of conduct. In the English literature Le Morte d?Arthur, French for ?The Death of Arthur?, by Sir Thomas Malory, the characters display acts of chivalry from beginning to end. Though the code of chivalry contains many qualities or acts, nevertheless bravery, loyalty, and courtly love are demonstrated more throughout this literature.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a classic example of the behaviors of a medieval knight and how the code of chivalry works within the courts and towards women. When Sir Gawain visits Bertiak’s castle, he respectfully treats the elderly woman and Bertiak’s beautiful young wife with the same level of dignity. “To the elder in homage he humbly bows; the lovelier he salutes with a light embrace. They welcome him warmly, and straightaway he asks to be received as their servant, if they so desire” (lines 973-976). The treatment of women is an essential part of the code of chivalry. If Sir Gawain had only given attention to the pretty young woman, then he would not have been abiding by the knight’s code of honor. He also keeps the code of chivalry intact when he says “Lover have I none, nor will have, yet awhile” (line 1790). Sir Gawain says this to Bertiak’s attractive wife, when she tries seducing him in the bedroom, which proved Sir Gawain’s loyalty to Bertiak, upholding his chivalric code. Honorable Sir Gawain demonstrates the knightly code of chivalry throughout the poem.
From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the hero of the story, Sir Gawain, represents a lot of the characteristics of a chivalric knight/hero, among them: modesty for himself, honesty to everyone around, as well as commitment and courage to complete his agreement made. He also engages in the activities that define heroes: starting out with a journey and completing challenges along the way, all trying to prove his worthiness to not only himself, but to King Arthur and his people back home. The most chivalric thing about Sir Gawain was probably when he knew he had the option to let King Arthur chop off the Green Knight’s head, but instead, he volunteered himself to do what he thought was the smartest thing. He also had the choice to stay in his home when he should have been out and going to find the Green Knight, but he owned what he had done and completed his journey all the way to what he was thinking was his death. His only downfall was when he lied about his magical girdle, which was given to him by a lady, but did not return to the host after they had made a deal. The Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight along with The Canterbury Tales features impressive knights that all boast a chivalric code. As Sir Gawain and the Green Knight unfolds, we readers are led to look beneath the attractive surface of chivalry and question exactly what chivalry is through examples such as: Sir Arthur , Sir Gawain, the Green Knight, Palamon, and Arcite.
Remember when a man used to open a car door for a woman to climb into? That was the good old days when chivalry among men was still valued. At medieval times the most important aspects of chivalry were courage, honor, and strength. In many stories about well respected knights you here of their battle to do what is right to make them a good knight. You can find specific examples of each of these values of chivalry.
The theme of man and the natural world is common throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The Green Knight is entirely green and, “embroidered upon his clothing and saddle-gear, the butterflies and birds” (165-167), suggests that we are meant to connect him to the natural world. He might represent nature and animal instincts, in contrasts to the more civilized world of King Arthur’s court. Another representation of this theme is shown in medieval romances, a man’s ability to control his horse is a symbol of his masculinity and his own self-control. The greater the horse he controls, the greater the man.
Chivalry is the belief and practice of knights in the Middle Ages and even today. During the Middle Ages, chivalry was a code of brave and respectful conduct for knights. A knight had to remain faithful to God, loyal to his king, true to his lady love, and helpful to others. In today’s society, the definition of chivalry has changed. Chivalry still exists, but it does not hold the same value as Middle Ages.
Upon first Reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I noticed that it comes off as a romantic normative poem about chivalric ideals and traditions of the ruling class with covertly Christian Images. The protagonist character Sir Gawain stands out as the role model of the chivalric ideals of the 14th century while displaying Christian images on his armor. The combination of Gawain’s armor and actions throughout the poem exemplify his characteristics of Christian perfection and chivalric ideals. The very first scene with Bertilak of Hautdesert known as the Green Knight begins to mold your perception of how chivalrous Sir Gawain is by portraying him as valiant, humble, and virtuous knight to Arthur. I felt that the interruption of Arthur
Do tales of knights in shining armour slaying dragons and saving damsels in distress interest you? If so, you should read a medieval romance. A medieval romance is a genre of literature, popular in the medieval times. In many romances, a chivalrous knight or hero often goes on a long and rigorous journey to complete a great task.