In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight the debate is if Sir Gawain matches my definition of Heroism, after reading I have decided that he does not. There is a difference between being a hero and being honorable. A hero is honorable but an honorable person is not a hero. To be honorable one must contain integrity, in Sir Gawain’s case he displays chivalry, being a knight it is a part of his code. One might say he displays heroism by stepping up to accept the Green Knights challenge in the place of king Arthurs, this act is also displayed as courageous, a prerequisite to heroism.
In his trials, Gawain faces a moral battle throughout the text. “True to the chivalric code, Gawain has not betrayed the lord; however, he feels guilty about keeping the green scarf” (Sir Gawain 83), this statement points out the moral trials and battles that Gawain faced, instead of the physical ones Beowulf did. In the outcomes, Beowulf kills his monster, however Gawain chops his monster’s head off but doesn’t kill him, “The knight did not falter or fall, but at once he sprang up on his strong legs and jumped into the crowd and snatched up his head by the hair and held it high for all to see” (81). Gawain isn’t able to kill his monster but later, destroys his monster with his morals. The monster being his pride and selfishness.
25-26) Banquo sees the opportunity to figure out the dream that fate has given him and takes it, illustrating his free will in life trying to make sense of the fate he was given. I. iii. 154-155 “If chance will have me King, why,/ chance may crown me,/ Without my stir.” After encountering the Weird Sisters with Banquo, Banquo cautions him not to give the creatures’ words much credence. Though, within minutes Ross arrives to tell Macbeth that the king has bestowed the title Thane of Cawdor upon him as the witches had predicted. Macbeth then begins to ponder the power of fate.
The supposed “castle” of the Green knight was actually the Green Chapel in which the Knight tested Gawain’s life through faithfulness. The Green Knight believes that King Arthur’s men are all puny cowards, so Gawain requests that he takes on the challenge. Gawain accepts the Green Knight’s challenge, “To the Green Chapel come, I charge you, to take such a dint as you have dealt … That your neck should have a knock on New Year’s morn” (221-223). The Green Chapel is the place where Sir Gawain will meet his fate. The chapel represents the honesty of Sir Gawain.
Knighthood fit that bill very well. Knights were much respected. Legend has it that Lance grew up to be King Arthur’s greatest knight. How can that be true? How can an ugly little boy, who constantly doubts his worthiness to receive honor be a great knight?
In Beowulf, an epic poem, Beowulf is the superior character who depicts the true meaning of loyalty. Beowulf feels in a sense he owes Hrothgar, King of the Danes, a favor because the great king had assisted Beowulf's father years back. Although Beowulf is the epic hero of the poem, he is not the only character that demonstrates the characteristic of loyalty. Wiglaf is a Geat warrior who exhibits bravery and courage while helping Beowulf fight and slay the dragon. Even though the epic poem had a devastating ending, it would not have been the same without the characters displaying their loyal sides.
The poem repeats the mention of Gawain’s deep fears and anxieties, but Gawain’s desire to maintain his personal integrity at all costs enables him to conquer his fears in his quest for the Green Knight. When he questions things he reverences the Virgin Mary and God. Gawain is tempted three times by Lady Bertilak much like Jesus was tempted three times by the devil. The parallels formed here are a very Anglo-Saxon quality made to appeal to pagan audiences. Gawain is far from a static character and his beliefs help with that change.
His ideas are deemed “dangerous,” “hare-brained,” and “uncertain” confirming that honour is not confined to valorous fighting. It is thus Hal who emerges as an optimal marriage of courage, intelligence and connection to the people. Encapsulating the best of both societies, Hal earns ‘grace’ and a ‘princely tongue’ as he grows into the archetypal leader England requires. Defeating his nemesis Hotspur in battle, Hotspur’s final words “thy wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh,” which exacerbate his incompetence as he values honour, an intangible concept, above his own livelihood. Contrasting Hotspur’s desolate view of life and humanity, Hal remarks “two stars keep not their motion in one sphere” identifying his values, and leadership superior to that of Hotspurs, as he
Though Gawain pridefully upholds the highest perfection of moral codes and Christian knighthood, he comes to recognize a painful lesson; that all men are merely human, and thus imperfect as nature created him. Gawain’s first test is exemplified by Green Knight’s challenge to exchange blows with an axe. The Green Knight presents a most fearsome sight to the Christian court of King Arthur, for his vigor
Sean Mehigan Mrs. Nixon English-D December 7, 2011 Sir Gawain: An Underrated Knight In the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain, of Arthur’s high court, shows, even when under pressure, that he can maintain his knightly duties and chivalrous acts. He upholds his promise to the green Knight even though it most likely meant that he was going to be killed. Also, Gawain is faced with the lustful desires of Lady Bertilak, who tries to seduce Gawain in an attempt to reveal his flaws during his time in the Castle. First off, the mysterious Green Knight visits Arthur’s high court around Christmastime, striking a dangerous scenario with Arthur. However, Gawain offers himself to the challenge because he feels he will be least missed