The Big Sleep

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In the books The Big Sleep and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both authors, Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) and Simon Armitage (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), create the protagonist of each story into archetypal knights. The protagonist of The Big Sleep is named Phillip Marlowe and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the protagonist is named Sir Gawain. The 3 knightly qualities that we will be focusing on in this essay are self-sacrifice, loyalty and courage. These qualities are displayed throughout each story in different and similar ways throughout each book.

In The Big Sleep, Phillip Marlowe displays self-sacrifice a few times throughout the book. Phillip Marlowe displays an act of self-sacrifice on page 129 and he says, “The smart thing for me to do was to take another drink and forget about the whole mess. That being the obviously smart thing to do, I called Eddie Mars and told him I was coming down to Las Olindas that evening to talk to him” . This act by Marlowe is an act of self-sacrifice, as he has the option to leave this case behind. He was just paid 500 dollars by General Sternwood to close the case, yet he has the urge to find out the truth about Rusty Regan. Marlowe’s knightly character throws himself in another dangerous situation, in which he faces more thugs where his life is on the line. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain displays self-sacrifice as well a few times. An example of Gawain displaying this trait happens on page 20, line 354 when he says, “I am the weakest of your warriors and feeblest of wit; loss of my life would be grieved the least.” To this point Gawain was willing to take place in this challenge replacing the king. Gawain is willing to sacrifice himself to remain loyal to the throne. Throughout the whole book Gawain was willing to put his life in jeopardy so he could fulfill the covenant he made with the Green Knight.

The second knightly quality that we will be focusing on in this essay is loyalty. In...
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