Allegory In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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There are numerous uses of literary devices in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the most prominent of them being symbolism. An explanation is needed to fully understand the meaning of the pentangle, as well as the girdle given to Sir Gawain by the host’s wife. Also, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight can be interpreted as an allegory for some of the core beliefs of Christianity. The use of these devices and how they enhance the poem will be thoroughly investigated throughout this paper. One of the major symbols in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the girdle given to him by the host’s wife before he goes to face the Green Knight. The host’s wife tries many times before to tempt Gawain and he finally falls into this temptation when she offers him the green girdle that will protect him from the dangers of the upcoming encounter with the Green Knight. Sir Gawain hides this girdle during the second meeting with the Green Knight which shows some cowardice, a quality not favored in a knight (Beauregard 149). This also takes away from the virtues the Green Knight was seeking to test among King Arthur’s knights (Beauregard 149). The green girdle seems to …show more content…
There are many different ideas on the moral theme brought by the allegory in this poem. These include Gawain is predestined to rid King Arthur’s court of moral corruption, a test to show Sir Gawain of his unworthiness, or even one in which Gawain is seen as the human soul in a general sense and the Green Knight as the Word of God or Christ (Champion 413-414). Another strong argument involves the idea that “Gawain is Christlike, Arthur’s court reflects the higher Court of God, and Gawain’s journey is an excursion into fallen nature” (Champion 414). By this thought process, Sir Gawain’s failure shows Christ’s success and shows the need for grace in man (Champion

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