Comparing Malory's Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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After the end of the Anglo-Saxon reign, the theme of the renaissance began to emerge throughout British literature. During this time period, authors focused on themes such as romance, religion, and secularism. Many of the religious writings that survived from this time period were hymns. During this era, the legendary King Arthur became a universal character. Stories about him and his knights originated in Celtic poems and tales and were adapted and greatly expanded in Latin chronicles and French romances even before Arthur became an English hero. Along with King Arthur, came the rise in fame of Sir Gawain. Morte Darthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are the two most famous tales, in which Sir Gawain is portrayed. Throughout the tales,…show more content…
He set the example of the chivalric ideal that all other knights tried to follow. As the years went by, his role was taken by Sir Lancelot which practically forced him to become less and less of a hero. His heroic aspects were not entirely erased by this change, though, as his final portrayal that we see in Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur is an extremely rich and complicated character that displays both his strengths and weaknesses. As a result, it would be agreed that Sir Gawain may be the most complex and truly human characters in Morte Darthur, in spite of his lesser role in the work compared to Sir Lancelot and…show more content…
In opposition to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where emphasis is placed on Sir Gawain as a younger individual and the mental and physical challenges in which he faced, Malory focuses on an older version of Gawain and the spiritual aspect of his journey. As opposed to his introduction in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain experiences a less heroic entrance in Morte D’arthur. In this book, Gawain enters as a character who opposes the idea of war against Launcelot due to the role that Launcelot had in saving them. This contrasts the character that we see in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight because the Gawain here is not willing to put his life on the line in order to prove a point. He acts as the mediator between Arthur and Launcelot, trying to convince neither of them to start a war. A more personal, compassionate side of Gawain is revealed to the reader when he refuses to take part in the execution of Queen Guinevere. This scene began to show the true morals of Gawain, which were only partially revealed in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. As the story continues, a drastic contrast in character occurs in Gawain as he finds out about the death of his brothers by Launcelot. The revealing of the deaths turns Gawain into a hot-headed knight who only desires war, as vengeance to Launcelot. In doing this, he neglects his chivalric duties in order to obtain self-satisfaction,

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