Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the poet depicts an entertaining story of adventure and intrigue. However, the poem is more than a grand adventure. It is an attempt to explore the moral ideals of Sir Gawain. Gawain's standards are represented by the pentangle on his shield. The depiction of the pentangle occurs when Sir Gawain is preparing to gear up for his quest for the Green Chapel. Gawain's outfit is described in great detail, including its color, makings, and apparel. His armor is meant to serve as a means of protecting his physical being. This shield has great spiritual values in the five-points of the pentangle. Representing the knight's physical being, the shield serves as a form of
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Mary's knight's prayers seem answered as a castle becomes noticeable off in the distance. Though is seemingly a miracle Gawain remains true to his chivalric principles.
Gawain then rides up to the gate and asks for lodgings for this eve of Christ's birth. This simple scene shows how the pentangle can have true balance. As Hollis says, "Gawain prays for a solution to his current predicament, and upon finding a solution he procures his lodgings through courtly requests. Finally, he properly thanks Jesus for his 'good' fortune." As a result of Gawain's virtue he gains entrance into the castle. However, his entrance into the castle is for reasons that he is unaware of at the time. From the instant Gawain sets foot inside the castle his downfall is inevitable.

It is in this castle that Gawain's competing values are put to the test. Up until now Gawain has been fitted in his armor and shield, but at the castle he finds that there is no longer a need for his armor. Sir Gawain is now stripped of his symbolic identity by the removal of both shield and gear. In its place he wears mundane clothing. This is the first step toward the disruption of the balance of values that the pentangle represents. It is these clothes he wears when the lady of the castle tempts him during the three mornings.
Sir Gawain sees the lady as extremely sensuous. This is not characteristic of "the way one views the wife of a lord who is giving

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