Disposition in the Face of Adversity: an Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

2040 WordsApr 25, 20139 Pages
Disposition in the face of Adversity: An analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The Middle Ages, a period of turbulence, reform, and revolution yet the idea of Knighthood remained ever so stead-fast. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an acclaimed Middle English poem published by an unknown author that highlights the preponderance of the English tradition. Sir Gawain is a knight belonging to the Arthurian court whose deference to his Lord and fidelity to the chivalric code are tested through a mysterious journey. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the poet emphasizes the idea that people must adhere to a specific set of moral codes in order to preserve their integrity. On Christmas night inside King Arthur’s court every single…show more content…
Sir Gawain has not lived up to his personal expectation in this situation by straying from the code and harming his integrity through deceit. A guide belonging to Lord Bertilak guides Sir Gawain to a forest near the green chapel. The guide expresses the idea that he would turn a blind eye if Sir Gawain would escape now in order to evade eminent death from the challenge. “Go off by some other road, in Gods name! Leave by some other land, for the love of Christ, and I shall get me home again, and give you my word That I shall swear by God’s self and the saints above, By heaven and by halidom and other oaths more, to conceal this day’s deed, nor say to a soul that ever you fled for fear from any that I knew.” (SGGK 2118-2126). The guide clearly does not see what makes Sir Gawain a knight, what motivates Sir Gawain to continue on, and what makes Sir Gawain fearless, and that is the code of chivalry that he must orthodoxly abide by to call himself a knight. Sir Gawain must continue on and finish the challenge in order to preserve his integrity among the people. The code of chivalry mandates that a knight be heroic when faced with uncertain trying circumstances. (WTGKAF, Vol 2.) The heroism displayed by Sir Gawain is not untrying as he has exhibited such characteristics when accepting the challenge in Arthurs court. Sir Gawain loses

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