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Gawain's Encounter with the Green Knight in the Green Chapel Essay

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Gawain's Encounter with the Green Knight in the Green Chapel

Even though little is known about the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it is considered to be one of the greatest romances of all time. The poem tells the story of one of Arthur's noblest and most courageous knights, Sir Gawain, who is in search of the Green Chapel: "Sir Gawain ingeniously combines two plots, common in folklore and romance, although not found together elsewhere: the beheading contest, in which two parties agree to an exchange of blows with a sword or an ax, and the temptation, an attempted seduction of the hero by a lady" (Norton 200). The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight deals with important themes and ideas such as nobleness, chivalry, knighthood, Christian ideals, truth, temptation, and hunting among others. The poem is also a "study [of] how successfully Gawain, as a man wholly dedicated to Christian ideals, maintains those ideals when he is subjected to unusual pressures" (Norton 200). The poet effectively uses literary devices such as alliteration, rhyme, irony, metaphor, symbolism, and imagery to reinforce his ideas and themes.

This passage of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight deals with Gawain's encounter with the Green Knight in the Green Chapel. The guide describes the Green Knight as a big, cruel, scary monster. He tells Gawain that because of his cruelty, no one wants to get in the vicinity of the Green Knight. He warns Gawain to not risk his life by going to the Green Chapel, and promises him that he will conceal everything. However, Gawain must face the Green Knight and face the hit, because he is noble, worthy, and courageous. He is not a coward. He says to the guide, "But though you never told the tale, if I turned back...


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...reen belt has magical protection and can save his life. Gawain's failure shows that he too is human and has faults.

Works Cited

Abrams, M. H. et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. 1. Sixth Edition. New York: W.W. Norton, & Co. 1993. 200-254.

Bobr, Janet. Origin. 1998. December 2, 1998.Online. Internet. Available http: csis.pace.edu/grendel/prjs2f/gawain2.htm

Finker, Leonid. Sir Gawain the Noble Knight. 1996. December 2, 1998. Online. Internet. Available http: csis.pace.edu/grendel/proj2a/sirgaw.html

Hannabery, Brian. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight--The introduction. 1998. December 2, 1998. Online. Internet. Available http: csis.pace.edu/grendel/prjs3b/intro.htm

Sera, Joe. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight--Close Reading of Lines 130-202. 1997. December 2, 1998. Online. Internet. Available http:csis.pace.edu/grendel/projs3f/proj2.html


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