Theme Of Chivalry In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight defies many conventions of traditional heroic tales. Interactions between Gawain and his protagonist the Green Knight differ substantially from the typical interactions of protagonists and antagonists in heroic tales, and the Green Knight is not simplistically evil like most antagonists in heroic tales. There is less physical conflict than in most heroic tales, and more social conflict, tests which challenge Gawain’s loyalty to his chivalric moral code. These deviations from the norms of the heroic tale are effective in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and it is an enduring tale because it had the courage to defy these conventions.
A traditional heroic tale usually involves the protagonist and antagonist trying to beat each other, and in this sense Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a traditional heroic
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A typical heroic tale might be an entertaining exercise in escapism, but it had little practical application in the day-to-day life of a typical medieval reader. A story about moral temptation, especially by a woman belonging to someone else, was much more relevant to a medieval reader at a practical level. By departing from the standard heroic tale structure and dealing with moral challenges average people faced, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight imbued itself with greater mass appeal.
The primary aspect of chivalry explored in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is integrity. Courage is also prominent. Sir Gawain is no Bill Clinton; he adheres to the chivalric code of honor even under dire tests which would cause lesser men to abandon the code expediently. It is unsurprising, but not unsatisfying, late in the story when we learn that the Green Knight was a invention of Arthur and his sorceress sister meant to test the virtue of his knights. Via this plot vehicle, Gawain is rewarded for his virtue, and an absence of such a reward would cheat the

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