Chivalry In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Medieval times were a time when honor was valued above all other qualities. All knights, the highest models of medieval manhood, adhered to a code of chivalry. When properly followed, this code allowed men to be truly honorable. Among the qualities most highly esteemed were integrity, loyalty, and courage. The clearest examples of chivalry were King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The Pearl Poet vividly illustrates the concepts of chivalry in his epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where Sir Gawain is characterized as a very honorable, chivalrous knight. Throughout the poem, Gawain’s unceasing commitment to his code of chivalry provides a protection against, thus proving the value and necessity of chivalry. An integral component to a knight’s code of honor, the code of chivalry, is integrity. Integrity allowed knights to remain steadfast and committed to the other values of chivalry. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, when Sir Gawain is tempted to have an affair …show more content…
When broken down, integrity is simply loyalty to the values of chivalry and morality. Thus loyalty is seen to be the root of the qualities of chivalry, making it the most basic, essential quality in a knight’s code of honor. Gawain displays loyalty several times throughout his quest to find the Green Knight. He is loyal to his leader, King Arthur, which is demonstrated when he accepts the challenge from the Green Knight in Arthur’s place. He demonstrates loyalty to Lord Bertilak in his refusal to allow his wife to be unfaithful, and he demonstrates loyalty to God in his consistent prayer and attendance of mass. These consistent loyalties provide strength and protection to Gawain at different points throughout his quest, proving that loyalty is a valuable aspect of chivalry that provides protection. Thus, as loyalty provides protection and is such a key component of chivalry which is a necessity, loyalty is a vital

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