Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Literary Analysis

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Symbolism in literature is used to enhance the text and create a far more intriguing and complex work. Symbols take the reader much deeper than the mere surface of the text and allow him or her to become immersed in interesting analogies and thought-provoking ideas. Though the green girdle is the most obvious symbol in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it is also the most alluring; with its ever-changing theme, the girdle presents the biggest challenge to the Knight's Code of Chivalry. The Knight’s Code of Chivalry was put to test on a regular basis by men in his court and others striving to be worthy of knighthood. Gawain’s most pressured test came from Bercilak’s wife’s insistent attempts at seducing him. Three days in a row she invited herself into his room, “came to the bed,..bent to his face, and gave him a graceful kiss” (1757-1759). Each day Gawain’s decision to resist sleeping with her got more and more laborious, until the third day when Lady Bercilak forcefully asked him to “take [her] belt” (1828). Again he resisted, but this time she promised him that “any man bound with this belt...can never be killed, here under God’s own heaven”- this is wear the poor guy gave in…show more content…
The green girdle represents affection, survival, glory, mistakes, and the past. It changes meaning according to character and setting; for the Green Knight it represents Gawain’s “adventure at the green Chapel,” for Gawain it represents “the mark of [his] sin,” and for Arthur it represents the glory of his court (2499-2300; 2509). In Lord Bercilak’s kingdom the belt exemplifies Gawain’s faults and wrongdoings, but in King Arthur’s kingdom it exemplifies “the glory of Arthur’s Round Table” (2515). In Camelot each of the lords and ladies “wear a slanted belt around their waits, woven of green” to support their beloved Gawain

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