The Heroes Of The American West

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Every society has its heroes, and often those heroes are identified with a group which is revered and idolized for its bravery in defense of the noble objectives of the society. In the American West, that group has for many years been the Cowboys. Whether defending women and children against the threats from Native American “Indians” or other armed villains, or participating in one on one duels (or draws) against the “outlaws,” the Cowboys have been regarded as warriors who are the symbols of protection and heroism. In Arthurian society, that role of warrior was played by the Knights. There are many parallels between the modern Cowboy and the medieval Knight, and I agree with Felicity Riddy who observed that “[t]he medieval knight is like…show more content…
They needed such a large hat to protect their faces from the sun while riding in the western heat. The bandana around their necks was to help them breathe amid all the dust, and the chaps on their pants were to help them ride their horses and carry their guns. Anyone who sees a picture of a person attired in this way immediately identifies that person as a cowboy and associates them with characteristics of adventure and bravery.
The same can be said for the medieval Knight. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain’s armor is described in great detail by the author to emphasize the importance of it. When Sir Gawain is leaving to go face the Green Knight, he is described putting on, “the great pile of gilded war-gear glittered…complete with knee pieces, polished bright and connecting at the knee with gold-knobbed hinges.” All the decoration and gold accents on his armor signify how important and wealthy he was. To indicate his status as Knight, he carries his shield with a pentangle. “The Pentangle is proper to this prince of knights…therefore it goes with Sir Gawain and his gleaming armour…Gawain was reputed good and, like gold well refined, He was devoid of all villainy, every virtue displaying in the field.” Sir Gawain’s armor not only identified him as a Knight but specifically by name and honor. These appearances of the Knight and Cowboy became so recognizable that they became symbolic. The mere mention of a Cowboy’s hat
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