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Christian Allusions And Values In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Your greatest enemy and hindrance is yourself. Lessons like this are difficult to grasp and overcome, but this is just what is taught in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Numerous morals, including this one, are illustrated in SGGK through the use of Christian allusions and traditions. Gawain’s personal struggles on his turbulent journey teach him to both respect and fear women, to resist temptation, and to always practice honesty. He learns these important life lessons through his many failures that nearly cost him his eternal life and reputation. Values of Christianity and Chivalry collide in conflict when Sir Gawain is learning his first lesson about women. Genesis and the story of the fall of Adam and Eve is heavily used and referenced throughout the medieval poem. The Round Table of Arthur and the castle of Lord Bertilak are both scenes that appear to be Edenic and reminiscent of paradise. Gawain, our main man, is the Adam character in this poem and parallel to the tale of the fall of man. Two important women to Gawain serve to juxtapose each other and show the different ways in which the knight dealt with women in these different paradisiacal locals. These two are Mary mother of Jesus and Lady Bertilak. One serves to raise up and protect him, while the other is the temptress and Eve figure that brings Gawain to his own personal destruction and downfall. The knight is revered partly for his strict adherence to the codes of both chivalry and Christianity. Mary, which he
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