The Heroic Code In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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In the epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight honor is held above all else. To maintain one’s virtue, is to protect their immortal soul. Sir Gawain, first portrayed as the perfect knight, confronts not only his faith but heroic code within the poem. Sir Gawain’s struggle to maintain virtue and uphold the heroic code in a society laden with temptation makes him more relatable to the everyman while still providing a model of what an upstanding Christian and knight should strive to be. A knights worth is proven by their actions when the time comes for them to step up to a challenge. As the Green Knight calls into question the round tables “Fortitude and fearlessness [they’re] so famous for” (311) the Knights of the Round Table stand silent calling into question their heroism. An audience can identify with the hesitance of taking up such an outrageous request. At this point in the poem Sir Gawain sets himself apart from the others by taking the challenge in the place of Sir Arthur himself. “Were I not your nephew my life would mean nothing” (356) Sir Gawain exemplifies the heroic code in this quote. His decision to not take his cousins’ name for granted but instead deciding to forge his own name and honor perfectly aligns with the meaning of the code. He also displays his faith in god that the …show more content…
He is lead astray again by lady Bertilak by accepting a green girdle that will make him “safe against anyone who seeks to strike him.” (1853). The acceptance of this gift is a slight against God. Sir Gawain places more faith in an object then in his saviors’ ability to protect him on his journey. While sinful in his actions Sir Gawain is also found to be identifiable in that time period. No matter how religious, blind faith can be difficult to sustain. Sir Gawain’s religious misstep makes it easier to sympathize with his plight while also reminding the reader of the temptations surrounding them on a daily

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