Essay On The Chivalric Code In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

The anonymously written “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” is a medieval romance story with a revolving notion of upholding the chivalric code. During this story 's time period, knights were expected to live by chivalric code, and Gawain expected nothing less of himself despite thinking that the “loss of [his] life would be grieved the least.” (356) It is thought that Morgan Le Fey, who was responsible for the entire quest, despite hating King Arthur, wanted to prove that even the noblest men were only human and it was impossible to completely upholding such courtly behavior all of the time. Because of this Gawain was destined for failure from the beginning, but was still able to uphold the chivalric code in some ways and in some parts of his …show more content…
Gawain 's first demonstration of upholding and challenging the chivalric code is displayed in the his first encounter with the Green Knight. The Green Knight 's arrival brought much shock to the King and all his men based on his physical appearance and his daunting challenge. However after hearing his request and exploring the potential harm it could bring to his King, Sir Gawain courageously volunteered his life to take on the Green knight. “Gawain 's lack of hubris at the moment of undertaking the challenge demonstrates his proper humility as a chivalric and Christian knight.” While he definitely upheld the chivalric code of conduct by stepping in to protect his King, his true motives are questioned because before making his hasty …show more content…
“The Exchange of Winnings is perhaps the most obvious test placed before Gawain”. During his stay at Lord Bertilak 's castle he is secretly being tested by the Lord 's wife as part of Morgan Le Fay’s cunning quest. While it is common for a guest to spark a one nights romance with his host’s lady, one of the standards of courtly behavior is to respect women. Not only does he need to respect the lady, but he also needs to respect his gracious host by not taking advantage of his lady. Gawain’s core beliefs are put to the ultimate test in this scene of the book. Lord Bertilak proposes a game between him and gawain created to test his loyalty to Bertilak and to his wife. The conditions of this game is that for three days the Lord will go out and hunt and Gawain will stay in the castle. After the end of each day they must exchange winnings. While the Lord goes out to hunt, Gawain remains in the castle and is continuously being seduced by Bertilak’s wife in attempt to test his chivalry. How ever, “Gawain [offends] the very characteristic in him the lady wishes to test.” Gawain manages to escape without falling for her clever seduction, but does kiss her once on the first day and twice on the second day. Because he is a loyal knight he stuck to the conditions of the game and exchanged his winning with Lord Bertilak. The third day was they

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