Sir Gawain And The Green

1627 Words7 Pages
Anthony Gallina
Medieval Lit

Sir Gawain and the Girdle

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain is presented a green girdle by Lady Bertilak after their sexual encounter (1830-1835). There have been many differing opinions on what the girdle represents, but I believe the most pertinent symbol that the green girdle stands for is the temptation that Gawain faces several times throughout the story. The girdle not only stands for the temptations that Gawain faces, but ultimately shows the ignorance Gawain exhibits throughout the story. At the end of the story, Gawain shows the girdle to Arthur’s court, inciting laughter, as well as a recollection of why Gawain received the girdle in the first place (2505-2506). If Gawain had
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Even though Gawain was a knight in one of the most prestigious courts in old or middle English’s history, readers of the tale could find something to empathize with. As Victoria Weiss once again writes:
“But it is only when Gawain discovers that his deceptive act of taking the girdle to preserve his own life is known to his host that he realizes all the pride pride, impetuosity, and duplicity that he has been guilty of. When Gawain assumes the wearing of the girdle as a sign of his imperfection, his concept of knightly virtues has changed: no longer does he speak of deeds and arms and knightly aggressiveness, but rather “the generosity and fidelity expected of knights (2381)” (Weiss 365).
This example of how Gawain realizes his ignorance and frivolous behavior throughout the poem, not only shows how the poet seeks to humanize Gawain, but also shows a transformation in which Gawain, as well as the reader of the poem, realize Gawain’s temptations and ultimately his own humanity at the end of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The reason that the author put so much emphasize into trying to humanize Sir Gawain, in my opinion, was because in the thirteenth century,
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