Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Nature vs. Civilization

1423 Words6 Pages
Nature vs. Civilization In the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, basic and natural urges are subliminated into sophisticated courtship or chivalry. The thematic concern that is raised by Gawain’s quest is the relationship between a civilized social group and nature or the wilderness. Through the description of naturalistic ideas being assimilated into chivalric social norms, the significance of nature and civilization in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be explained through this essay. Throughout the tale, nature and civility challenge multiple character’s, notably Sir Gawain’s, nature and social behaviours within the society through four events which are: the barrage of the Green Knight, the temptations of Bertilak’s wife, the hunt and the final encounter of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. During the opening of the tale we are introduced to Camelot, a utopian society where everything related to the court is first-class. The author devotes plenty of space to describe this utopian society. The focus of the introduction is to give the reader an idea that the foundation of the society within the court is completely civilized and follows a chivalric code. The court represents an orderly structure with laws and stability. The reader is introduced to the main character, Sir Gawain, with whom the main quest is concerned. Gawain is introduced in his normal social environment; he is a member of the elite in his society. Gawain prides himself on his performance of the five points of chivalry in all aspects of his life therefore he is a pinnacle of piety, loyalty, integrity, honesty and humility. Throughout the introduction the author sets the stage for the upcoming events. Gawain is a representative of Camelot, which is a representative of an ideal civilization. Through the author’s description of Gawain and beliefs established in Camelot, the reader is able to
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