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Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

782 words - 4 pages

Honor and Courage Persevere

The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by John Gardner, is set in the Middle Ages. This was a time in history when people focused on the values and ideals of the Code of Chivalry, a code of honor intended to govern knightly behavior. As Arthur and his knights get together to feast and celebrate Christmas and the new year their festivities were interrupted by a man of green who wandered about searching for adventure so that he can disprove his chivalry. The two values that are most clearly stated in the poem are courage and honor. It will become clear by the actions of the characters that courage and honor is shown in several different areas of ...view middle of the document...

According to the Macmillan Online Dictionary honor defined as, “is to do what you said you would do or what you promised to do.” Sir Gawain did this when he took it upon himself to come forward in the court and ask to take King Arthurs place with the Green Knight. He felt that the King deserved the honor of being exempted from this foolish request that the Green Knight had put forth. Sir Gawain implies this when he says, “I’d be deeply honored to advise you before all the court;/ for I think it unseemly, if I understand the matter,/ that challenges such as this churl has chosen to offer/ be met by your majesty” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 214). Gawain wants to take King Arthurs position because he is his nephew and his blood runs through his veins. Sir Gawain showed that he was a man of honor when he told the Green Knight that he stood for one swipe of his ax and then said, “I take one stroke, that’s all,/ for that was the compact we/ arranged in Arthurs hall;/ but now no more for me” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 219). It is apparent that after one year Gawain honored the compact made between him and the Green...

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