Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Throughout the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the presence of chivalry in nearly every aspect of the knights’ lives, whether it is being tested or acted upon, is hard to miss. During medieval times, the ideal of chivalry was how a knight was supposed to act and live their life, and in this story, Sir Gawain is the embodiment of chivalry even through all of the tests he is put through by the Green Knight and Morgan le Fay. Now, in today’s society, chivalry is nowhere near as prominent as it was during medieval times. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, chivalry is a vital part of everyday life, whereas in modern times, chivalry can seem almost nonexistent.

Sir Gawain is supposed to be chivalry personified, the ideal that every knight should strive to live by, and today, it is nearly impossible to find a man who possesses anywhere near the amount of chivalry that Sir Gawain has. It is extremely rare to find a man in today’s society who would persevere and go to the lengths that Sir Gawain goes to in order to prove himself and not be considered a coward of sorts. Now, granted, no one today would have to face quite the tasks that Sir Gawain must face, but there are tasks far less daunting than fighting off monsters and dragons that will send a grown man in the opposite direction, never to look back.

One of the prominent aspects of chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and during that time period in general, is showing great respect for women. One example from the story would be the instances where Sir Gawain politely turns down the advances of the lady of the castle while keeping the conversation’s tone as if she were granting him a favor, instead of taking advantage of the situation for his own pleasure. While there are many men today who still embrace this and will not hesitate to treat their female friends, wives, or girlfriends with the utmost respect and courtesy, today’s society as a whole tends to back away from this. There are some women...
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