Analysis: Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Ashley Guffey September 28th 2014 Essay Two Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a romantic poem which is believed to have been written in the mid to late fourteenth century. It is a part of the “Beheading Games” which is an ancient folklore, possibly derived from Pagan myths. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight follows Sir Gawain on a quest which takes him through maturity and shows how one becomes a true hero through courage and bravery. Symbolism is a prominent part of this romantic poem. This can be seen through the authors use of the time in which the Green Knight appears, the green girdle that is given to Gawain, the pentagle that is seen on Gawain’s shield, and possibly most important, the notable use of the color green. Sir Gawain’s…show more content…
Feeling immensely guilty, Gawain wears the girdle on his arm as a personal reminder of his failure. The Green Knight appears at the New Years feast in which the town is celebrating the dawn of a “new beginning”. One can say that this is a representation of a new challenge for Sir Gawain this is supported through the fact that many people view New Years as a new beginning or the dawn of a fresh start for themselves. Taking this challenge was the beginning of Sir Gawain becoming a more mature person and a better knight. The green girdle that is given to Gawain as a “lover’s token” is a symbol which Lady Bertilak gives to Gawain after insinuating that it possess powers which makes it wearer invincible. Gawain therefore views the girdle as a tool of survival and accepts. This shows the reader Gawain’s desire to survive. When Gawain fails to exchange the girdle with Bertilak it shows that he is willing to betray his code of honor in order to survive. Once Gawain fails the Green Knight’s test he vows to wear the girdle forever as a symbol of his failure and as a reminder that "a man may hide his misdeed, but never erase it" (2511).
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