Sir Gawain and the Endless Knot Analytical Essay by academic

Sir Gawain and the Endless Knot
An analysis of the significance of the endless knot in the classic, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight".
# 45714 | 944 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Nov 19, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper reviews the medieval tale of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". It looks at how Sir Gawain is most often associated with virtues of the chivalric code, how these codes were often displayed through symbols, and how, in the case of Arthurian knights, armor was often decorated with meaningful symbols. It discusses how the endless knot is one of the most prominent symbols in "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and, upon close inspection, how the knot itself becomes a symbol for the somewhat unattainable goals of medieval knighthood. It examines the significance of the endless knot, how it relates to the lady's girdle, and the overall meanings of these symbols.

From the Paper:

"The girdle appears to be more complicated than the pentangle. The girdle is a gift from lady. We can easily make an association with the girdle and the magic it represents. This may seem similar to the "magic" that Gawain's shield posses, but it also very different. For example, we are told that the man who possesses the girdle "could not be killed by any craft on earth" (1854). To examine the way in which the girdle is offered and accepted says much about Gawain and his beliefs, not to mention his humanity. The lady offers the girdle to him as some sort of magical protection against physical harm. This offering indicates that a segment of society did indeed believe in such talismans. In fact, we might even assume that such talismans were part of religious practices. "

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