The Role Of Chivalry In Sir Gawain The Green Knight

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Making of a Knight
Middle English texts such as Sir Gawain the Green Knight and Canterbury Tales: Knights Tale and Wife of Bath contain main characters upholding the position of medieval knights. These knights garner the chivalric ideals of a knight that adhere to a particular code. Using this code of conduct followed by chivalry, I will explain throughout this paper how and why the main characters of these texts follow these chivalric traits in the characters which encompass the traits that make up a knight. One list of codes is as follows: To fear God and maintain His Church; To serve the liege lord in valour and faith; To protect the weak and defenceless; To give succour to widows and orphans; To refrain from the wanton giving of offence;
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Therefore, when viewing the scenes of Gawain and Lady Bertilak, we can see a number of courtly love aspects such as one from A.J. Demoney’s first rule of courtly love “Marriage should not be a deterrent to love.” Meaning that, just because Lady Bertilak is married, it does not mean that Gawain is limited to the notions of not being with her. Therefore, on day one, he begins heavily flirting with the Lady while still trying to maintain a chivalric loyal demeanor towards Lord Bertilak. The annotation of flirting comes from mass amounts of compliments. “Be it with me as you will…I surrender myself and sue for your grace” (183). Ultimately, showing the Lady that he is at her service in the sense that she is a beautiful women worth worshipping. Gawain is tested by the Lady when she asks him to have better manners and kiss her. Gawain does not struggle with a response when he says, “I will kiss at your command, as becometh a knight” (73). Bertilak later asks Gawain who kisses him in which Gawain avoids answering the question. This is where Gawain loses his perfect chivalrous act because he kissed Bertilak’s wife without his permission. The first day that Gawain is at Bertilak’s home, he begins to question his overall chivalrousness and courtly love conduct. He talks with Lady Bertilak when she enters his room and bed instead of being asleep out of courtly love and desire. Had he pretended to be asleep, Lady Bertilak very well might have left him alone to be by himself. In this sense, due to courtly love Gawain gives into the Lady’s request. However, chivalry says that he is supposed to remain loyal to his guest in which he has

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