A comparative essay on "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" with focus on the impossibility of fulfilling the chivalric code

Essay by buschfrauHigh School, 11th grade April 2003

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Comparative Essay on

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Monty Python and the Holy Grail

It is impossible for a human being to fulfill all the ideals of the Chivalric Code and the seven Cardinal Virtues. Christian knights lived by the Chivalric Code to gain honor, but it was not possible even for the best and purest knights to always stick to these conventions of courtesy, generosity, loyalty, consistency, chastity, poverty, valor and skill. In addition to these components of the Chivalric Code, a knight was to follow the seven Cardinal Virtues, which were justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and charity.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight demonstrates the problematic nature of chastity. As Sir Galahad (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) is on his quest to find the Holy Grail, he arrives at the Castle Anthrax where he imagined seeing his object of desire.

In this castle, however, is no grail but many women "all between 16 and 19 and a half" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail). These women are trying to seduce him. While he is trying to resist the temptation in the beginning, he is perfectly willing to give up his chastity at the time Lancelot arrives to save him. Sir Galahad, who even has the epithet "the Chaste" (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), is according to the Arthurian legend considered the purest and perfect knight. Consequently, he is the only one to possess the Holy Grail, although the moment he enters the castle, he has sex in his mind. Him having impure thoughts and almost failing to keep his chastity shows the impossibility of being a perfect knight.

Sir Gawain is going through a similar situation, but...