This Medieval Era Poem

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This medieval era poem is set with a theme of not just bravery or heroism, but one of honesty and loyalty even greed and guilt as well. The story starts with our protagonist celebrating. Then along comes the green knight who challenges any one man to a blow. But you can already detect a sense of trickery because, the Green Knight says he will return one year and one day later to give a blow to his opponent. In which sir gawins brother stands and demands they do the challenge. This is where the sense of bravery comes in to play. So the two duel and sir gawain's brother takes the head of the green knight and the green knight lives. So very obviously the knight demands that he follow his word and be there one year and one day later.

His brother did not uphold so he demands that sir gawain take his place. After the duel sir gawain spends the time traveling and eventually finds himself in the castle of Lord and Lady Bertilak. A sense of lust is able to be detected because of the situation of the lord's wife trying to seduce sir gawain. She tries not only once but three times and her advances fail. Just after this he is met with hid feeling of greed and guilt. She gifts him a girdle that is sworn to keep him safe. He wants to remain safe and so he take it out of greed, but he also has guilt because it goes against his code of chivalry. Sir gawain returns the the green chapel and the Green Knight is waiting for him while sharpening a blade. Sir gawain then riddled with guilt offers a trade.

He wanted to trade all of his riches for his life except the girdle that he kept a secret and it fails. The green knight does three blows to Sir Gawain and much like the Green Knight he lives. This is another good sense of bravery and honesty, Sir Gawain stayed true to his word and the outcome was positive. The Green Knight tells sir gawain his name he said his name is Bertilak and tells him that he is the king of the castle where Gawain was at. But because Gawain was not truthful about all of his riches on the third blow Bertilak drew blood. But Gawain has proven himself a true knight.

A sense of honor is detected because he actually proved himself. Bertilak later explains that the old woman at the castle is really Morgan le Faye, Sir Gawain’s aunt and also a witch. She sent the Green Knight on his his mission in the beginning and used her magic to change the Green Knight’s appearance. Excited to be alive but extremely guilty about his failure to tell the truth, Sir Gawain wears the girdle on his arm as a reminder of his own failure. He returns to Arthur’s court where all the knights join Sir Gawain, wearing girdles on their arms to show their support. This is where true chivalry is shown in the story. 

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This Medieval Era Poem. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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