"Gawain and the Green Knight" Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

"Gawain and the Green Knight"
Examines the themes of virtue and vice in the medieval poem, "Gawain and the Green Knight".
# 31657 | 1,150 words | 3 sources | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 26, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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In "Gawain and the Green Knight", the story of Gawain is an allegory for Christian ideals, played out in the realms of King Arthur's codes of chivalry and ideal virtue. Gawain's experiences being tested by Morgan reveal to him his weaknesses as a man and force him to reconcile himself to the conflicts of upholding ideal values while being a less than ideal human being. This essay considers the ways Gawain's own reflections on his actions provide him with the insights to restore his honor. The essay concludes that forgiveness and humility are what redeem Gawain and enable him to act in concert with the Green Knight and not against the Green Knight, thus rationalizing the poem's surprise ending.

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