Sir Gawaina Nd The Green Knight

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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The Trials and Tribulations of a Romantic Hero Honor is the only substance that can make a good man, and lack thereof is the only weapon that can bring one down. In the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a man named Gawain is tested on his virtues. Through tests of his character and judgment, Gawain sees the immeasurable importance of his morals. His opposition, the Green Knight, tests him thoroughly; trying to break the moral code Gawain follows. As a result in the latter tests, Gawain learns that practicing his virtues will gain him nobility and spare his greatest possession, his life.

While honoring his word, Gawain is tested three times by the Green Knight. The first test Sir Gawain endures is accepting a contest. This unusual contest tests his loyalty, and he succeeds. Sir Gawain gets one swing at the Green Knights neck. Gawain takes his swing and succeeds with perfection, decapitating the Knight.

The superhuman powers typical in a romance are shown when the Green Knight picks up his own head. The loyal Gawain still accepts the conditions of the contest, even after the Green Knights inhuman performance. He must meet the Green Knight one year later, and the knight will get his swing. Although the game is strange and death is almost certain, Gawain stays brave and accepts.

Gawain is tested once again on his way to meet the knight. Gawain stumbles upon a beautiful castle, and is asked to rest a few days. The lord of the castle proposes a strange game. Being familiar with odd games, Gawain accepts. The challenge is simple, the lord will hunt every day, and he will give Gawain everything he has killed that day. In return, Gawain must give the lord everything he has won. Gawain's morality...