Chivalry In Gawain and the Green Knight

Nathania L. Pabón

Mrs. Quesada

English 11-4

14 October 2016

Chivalry

How do the Green Knight and Gawain show that they live by a code of chivalry and yet break the code?

            During the time of the Green Knight and Gawain, chivalry was a very important standard to upkeep. Both of these characters lived by this code fully, but they have made mistakes and broken the code.

            First, Gawain’s loyalty of the chivalric code will be discussed. Gawain was very loyal, a member of Arthur’s court, he strived to follow the standards of chivalry any way he could. The most prominent example in this story is when Gawain stepped in to accept the Green Knight’s challenge, which led to death, and not letting his lord, King Arthur, accept it. Gawain respected everyone who helped him, but the one flaw he made was when he didn’t tell the host of the castle he was staying at about receiving a sash from his wife. He relied on enchantments instead of his courage to deal with the Green Knight’s request, breaking the chivalric code.

            The second character is the Green Knight. He is not as demanding in the code of chivalry as other knights are. The Green Knight values chivalry in Gawain and even though he lied about the sash, the knight forgives him and doesn’t hold a grudge against him. He breaks the code by not following it religiously and using it in his daily life. This knight even allows his lady to sleep with Gawain.

            In conclusion, both men are chivalric and good honorable men, even if the Green Knight doesn’t follow the code strictly. They both make mistake, but they always fix them to be chivalric heroes.

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