The Meaning Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is identified by most as a medieval romance obtaining many factors of arthurian poems such as chivalry, courtly love, and adventure, all of which are usually displayed by a hero. In the criticism titled “The Meaning of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’” by Alan M. Markman, the author argues that the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, mainly focuses on the protagonist Sir Gawain and how he is an extraordinary example of a hero for his human-like ways as opposed to obtaining supernatural characteristics like the Green Knight. Throughout his criticism, the author repeatedly proclaims that “Gawain is the representation of a real man” (Markman). Markman backs up his thesis by suggesting that the purpose of the poem is to “discover, by pitting a real man against marvelous, unnatural man, what a perfect knight can do when he is forced to face the unknown”, referring to Sir Gawain as the “real man”, and the Green Knight as the “unnatural man” (Markman). Seeing as the Green Knight is thought to be an “unnatural man” as stated by Markman, the author also believed that it was a “brilliant plan” for “the choice of man temporarily endowed with the power of magic” to “test the hero”, Sir Gawain (Markman).
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