Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Is Gawain and Epitome?

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Is Gawain and Epitome?

By | November 2012
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Every group has its idols, those people who serve as the epitome of the group’s values. Cowboys look up to Lane Frost, basketball players look up to Michael Jordan, and Arthurian knights look up to King Arthur. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one of the greatest Arthurian romances written in England, Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, takes on a challenge to exchange “one strike for another” with the Green Knight (line 287). Despite all of the bad experiences and temptations he fights along the way, after the battle with the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is definitely still admirable as the epitome of the Arthurian Knight as he wears a green girdle in remembrance of his mistakes(Sir Gawain).

Gawain believes in a chivalric code, in which is very admirable. Gawain is a young knight who knows the chivalric code well, and knows that he is supposed to exhibit, as the Duke of Burgundy say’s “faith, charity, justice, sagacity, prudence, temperance, resolution, truth, liberality, diligence, hope, and valor”(Knight’s code of Chivalry). These can be summed up to the most admirable rules of the chivalric code: honor, loyalty and Christianity. Gawain is admirable for these qualities in which he possesses. He shows loyalty to both his earthly kings and heavenly king. The knights are “renowned after the name of Christ” and “their king [is] most high in pride (Sir Gawain, 52). He must honor his uncle, King Arthur, his host, and God, in everything he does. Gawain shows his loyalty towards King Arthur by taking the challenge made by the Green Knight. Gawain tells Author that he will take the battle because, “[he] [is] the weakest […] and the least loss, if [he] live[s] not” (Sir Gawain, lines 354-55). He is so loyal toward the king that he is willing to sacrifice his own life for his uncle, because his uncle would be a much bigger loss. Gawain honors his uncle by not giving up; this would have disappointed his uncle tremendously because as a part of the chivalric code, it is a...
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