Courage from King Arthur and the Middle Ages

Topics: Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur, Mordred Pages: 2 (816 words) Published: October 17, 2012
Courage is the will to do/say something regardless of the outcome. There is plenty of evidence and examples in the books and stories that seniors read in their English class all the time, like in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” and in “The Divine Comedy.”

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.” (Theodore Roosevelt) This is evident in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” when the Green Knight offers up a challenge to let someone take his head if he gets the opportunity to do the same in a year in a day and Sir Gawain accepts the challenge. We have no idea if Sir Gawain was afraid, but the average man would be afraid in times like that if his own head might be severed from his shoulders. He looked death straight in the face as he accepted that challenge, with no idea what the outcome would be, whether his own life would be taken, or not. Especially when he did take the Green Knights head and the Green Knight just picks his head up afterwards and rides off into the distance. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (Nelson Mandela)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” (Mark Twain) There is evidence of this also in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” as Sir Gawain rides off to the Green castle to see if the Green Knight will chop off his head, even if he doesn’t have to (which also goes along with honor). He had gone on to a neighboring castle to try and get directions because he wasn’t going to give up just because he was lost, and decided to play a game with the lord of the castle. After the game was over, which lasted three days, Sir Gawain continued his journey instead of turning back yet again when he had the chance. The battle had taken place, and at the end, Sir Gawain was spared because...

Cited: Malory, Thomas, “Morte D’ Arthur” Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The British Tradition. Prentirce Hall Liturature. Pearson Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 2005. 176-184
“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The British Tradition. Prentirce Hall Liturature. Pearson Prentice Hall. New Jersey. 2005. 162-175
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