The Pentangle Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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The pentangle in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which is displayed on the front side of Gawain’s shield, represents his knighthood and all that Gawain stands for. “In particular, Gawain 's courtesy is associated with his virtue in the symbolic device of the pentangle in his shield (Morgan, p.770).” One of the points of the pentangle represents courtesy, which means a knight has to be courteous to not only women, but also men, in order to be able to be seen as reaching this pillar. Courtesy is an important virtue to knights because without courtesy knights would be seen as rude and uncaring, so knights provide their service free of charge, while acting as politely as possible, in order to try and achieve this mark of knighthood. Gawain was …show more content…

The pentangle facing up represents reason, and this can be shown by having an image of the pentangle, and seeing that if an image of a person were to be in the middle of the pentangle the head would be at the top of the point. This means that Gawain thinks first most of the time, before he does anything. Once Gawain arrives at the castle he is given a test that will see if reason out ways passion. The way this is tested is by the lord of the castle making a deal between himself and Gawain in that whatever the person wins or gets for the day they must trade off at the end of the night. Gawain ultimately fails the test when the lady of the castle offers him a gift that will save his life. This failure shows that Gawain values passion over his life more than reason/respect for his deal with the lord of the castle. Since passion won out the pentangle is now flipped upside down with passion taking the lead. Since passion is ultimately winning Gawain has fallen down a level as a knight, because it has now been proven that he is not as pure as everyone made him out to be. The girdle in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is given by the lady of the castle as a test to see if Arthur’s court was as noble and honorable as people were lead to believe. “The girdle which the Lady gives to Gawain, differs to some degree from my first because it is not, like the pentangle, intrinsically

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