Character Analysis Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Superior Essays
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by the Gawain Poet, the knights of King Arthur’s court consume themselves in heroic achievement. Sir Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, believes himself to be the lowest of all knights residing in Camelot. Gawain is a humble man who believes his weakness is a dishonor to the knights of the round table. Gawain handles his realities with good intentions, as he furthers himself as a proper knight and changes himself to bring honor to his uncle’s court. Gawain’s response to unfortunate realities is superb, conversely a hero like Achilles, from the Iliad, lacks the discipline needed to react in an optimistic way. After the death of Patroklos or even the separation between Briseis and Achilles, he acts in a very …show more content…
Gawain shows his bravery after Arthur stands before the Green Knight when he declares, “I beseech, before all here, that this melee may be mine” (SGGK 341-342). Although Gawain is sacrificing himself for the safety of Arthur, he is yet to find out what he commits himself to. Gawain’s first flaw arises because of his daily game with the lord of the castle, in which Gawain receives a green girdle from the lord’s lady that has the power of allowing its owner protection from death. Gawain is supposed to give the lord the belt, but as he fears for his life he decides to keep the belt and tell the lord, “Never trouble about the terms…Since all that I owe here is openly paid” (SGGK 1940-1941). Gawain’s flaw is not that he lied to the lord, even though that goes against his codes, rather his fear of death. The knights of Camelot are extraordinary heroes, yet as the meeting with the Green Knight creeps up on Gawain, he begins to act more human. Gawain’s identity of a gallant knight is slowly fading away into just a normal man with death on his mind. After the Green Knight revealed himself as the lord of the castle to Gawain he further told him, “Yet you lacked, sir, a little in loyalty there, but the cause was not cunning, nor courtship either, but you loved your own life; the less, then, to blame” (SGGK 2366-2368). Gawain is still a great knight from …show more content…
After Agamemnon takes Briseis away from Achilles and declares she will become his new prize, Achilles breaks out in an unpleasant rage that sidelines him during the Trojan War. Achilles states, “So must I be called of account and a coward if I must carry out every order you may happen to give me. Tell other men to do these things, but give no more commands, since I for my part have no intention to obey you” (Iliad 1.293-296). Achilles has the right to be upset at Agamemnon, but he is letting down the Achaian soldiers who look to him for leadership. Achilles does not know what is going to happen later in the war, consequently his absence is going to lead to the death of Patroklos on the battlefield. The importance of Achilles response shows that his selfish exit from the war has greater consequences than he assumes. After Hector slays Patroklos and loots the armor off his body, Achilles becomes both furious and depressed. Once Achilles hears the late news about the death of Patroklos he tells his mother Thetis, “Since the spirit within does not drive me to go on living and be among men, except on condition that Hektor first be beaten down under my spear, lose his life and pay the price for stripping Patroklos…” (Iliad 18.90-93). Avenging the death of Patroklos in this scenario is reasonable, whereas the thought of Achilles taking his own life

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