Sir Gawain and the Green Knight & Color

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Though often extensive detail may be condemned as mere flowery language, in understanding Sir Gawain and the Green Knight one must make special emphasis on it. In color and imagery itself, the unknown author paints the very fibers of this work, allowing Sir Gawain to discern the nuances of ritualistic chivalry and truth. His quest after the Green Knight is as simple as ones quest toward himself. Through acute awareness of the physical world he encounters Gawain comes to an understanding of the world beyond chivalry, a connection to G-d, the source of truth. He learns, chivalry, like a machine, will always function properly, but in order to derive meaning from its product he must allow nature to affect him. At the onset of Sir Gawain and the Green Night the unknown author goes to great length physically describing the opulence of Christmastime in Arthur's court. For Camelot even Christmastide, a deeply religious holiday, is given significance based on its futile aesthetic veneer rather than inherent religious value. The dais is "well –decked" (Sir Gawain and the Green Night, 75), and "costly silk curtains" (76) canopy over Queen Guinevere. The Knights are described as "brave by din by day, dancing by night" (47 ), this is to say they are the paradigm of bravery and gentility. Both bravery and gentility are not indicative of the knights' humanity, his feelings and thoughts, rather how appears and acts. Dissimilar to King Arthur's opulent and boyish description, the Green Knight appears earthly, like an overgrown lumberjack in a debutante ball. His very entrance to the narrative aims to shatter Camelot's superficial relationship with earthly trials. While Arthur seeks pleasure in hearing tales "of some fair feat" (92), the Green Knight undermines all formality known to be chivalrous challenging the king to a life risking game. With a "broad neck to buttocks" (137), (opposed to Arthur's' court depicted in the ever regal color red,) the Knight is clothed in...
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