(ln ) It was believed that the pleasures of the court threaten men by distracting them from the "truth" that the corpses can now understand. In the culture of the gawain poet, just as in our modern culture and every culture in between, there was hypocrisy and conveniently timed changes of heart. After the knights went out into the world to engage in their varied and unholy pleasures of the world, they would condemn knighthood. There is a certain cycle to the human condition that brings relevance to the story of Gawain. Just as the baby boomer parents didn't like all that rock and roll music their children adored so much, the knights did not want their children to have too much fun. The "Black Prince" becomes humble and rejects the worldly pleasures in writing his epitaph:./now i am poor and lowly, laid deep in the earth, / my great beauty is all gone, my flesh is all dissolved.
Sir gawain and the green knight essay
Whereas in the spiritual world, salvation is open to all and achievable by all who embrace the Christian way of life, because it is not of an exclusive nature. Rich and poor, as well as the strong and the weak, can money achieve the riches of the spiritual world. According to Clein the fourteenth century culture points out to that another benefit of joining the Christian club is that it does not offer one of those measly life-time memberships. By joining this club, all members automatically receive an eternal warranty on the human soul at no extra cost. A life-time warranty expires way to early: Moralists turned various occasions into opportunities to reflect on death. John Mirk's sermon for the feast of the circumcision moves from considering Christ's mortality to exhorting listeners to think on their own. Images of decaying flesh provide the most dramatic examples of earthly transience. The corpse as memento mori appears early in a christian context, transforming the Egyptian and Roman image from a carpe diem exhortation to an admonishment not to sacrifice eternal happiness for the fleeting pleasures of the body. The image pervades the later Middle Ages. (60-61) In light of this sort of imagery it is understandable how Gawain might have felt the guilt that appears to be extreme to most modern readers of the poem. Gawain's guilt is extreme when he at the end of the poem he discusses why he wears the band: This band symbolizes the blame i bear on my neck ;It signifies the sorrowful loss that I have suffered, caught by cowardice and covetousness there ;It.
These temporal glories are replaced by the "spiritual rewards" that are enjoyed by the saints. While it might appear that the two worlds of Christianity and the warrior are mutually exclusive, they can really compliment each other when human logic is applied. If warriors lined are supposed to beat up people, and Christians are supposed to live their lives for God then logic tells us that we can unite these two lifestyles by beating up people for Jesus. The Crusades were great for these special kind of individuals who desired to maintain their commitment to the Church while engaging in the thrill of violent adventure. This is one of the unique times when the values of medieval Christianity and the medieval warrior really compliment each other: when it is time to beat up foreigners for Jesus. There are a number of advantages to the spiritual life that Wendy Clein explores. One advantage that the spiritual world has over the warrior world is that it is not of an exclusive nature. In a battle to the death, only one warrior can win, while the other warrior must die.
However, the Christian doctrine demands that the knight surrender worldly fame and accept death as a "passage from this imperfect world to eternity" (55). If knight is to gain fame and fulfill the warrior code that is so deeply engrained into the psyche of a warrior, he must play with death. This is what war and tournaments are all about. It is about looking death in the eye and not flinching. Once a knight can do this he has fulfilled the warrior code of a knight, at least for the moment. The Christian approach to death is much different from the warrior approach to death. While some parts of the poem may appear be simply "Christian in harmony with pre-Christian nature belief and ritual the issue of eternity and how to live life can be quite cacophonous (Speirs. The Christian is called to reject the worldly glory that is offered by the world of the knight. However the knight who gives up worldly glory is not left without any honors or glory.
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But honesty is not everything. My mother would probably ground me again if I did not lie to someone to save my neck. There is another side to the question about Sir Gawain's decision to not give bertilac the green girdle. While honesty should be highly valued, it may be unwise to undervalue life itself. In almost every culture death, as well as Gawains' culture, death is recognized "as a terrifying thing which men and animals alike try to escape by every device in their power, regardless of dignity or duty" (Burrow, " The Third Fit" 37).
It may be even more difficult to place an overriding significance on the value of honesty in light of life's alternative: death. ".images of death permeate the medieval world" (Clien. A modern reader of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight should gain an understanding of what death means within the "cultural milieu" which surrounded the gawain writer. Wendy Clein in her book "Concepts of Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" describes the chivalric approach to death as an uncomfortable and awkward marriage between the warrior's code on one side and Christianity of the the antithetical side. The warrior resume code calls for the knight to "defy death in acts of heroism and thereby gain worldly fame" (55).
From the first time i read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight I have been troubled by the question of whether or not Sir Gawain was right or wrong in lying in order to keep the girdle and save his life. He was torn between honesty and his own life. The question he was forced to ask himself was "what did he value more: his honesty or his life? Many scholars have struggled with this question for centuries, as well as the questions of why gawain made the decision that he did, how guilty he "really" felt for his actions, and what the poet is trying to tell the reader through Gawain's ordeal. When I was growing up I was told to always be honest.
I was only "grounded" twice in my lifetime: once for not telling my mom where i went one afternoon and once for telling her a lie. I was in Kindergarten and broke a candle (don't ask me why or how). I blamed it on the cat. I couldn't stand the pressure of my mother's intense interrogation that consisted of simply asking me how the cat could possibly brake the candle which was surrounded by a hurricane lamp. My guilt was so overwhelming that I broke down and told her the truth. Thus, i was introduced to the concept of "grounding" and the importance of honesty. I was taught at a young age that the foundation of any relationship is honesty and without it, a friendship can only last so long and its roots go go only so deep.
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Gawain and Bertilak make an agreement that Bertilak arranges and they exchange what they earn at the end of every day (Gawains poet 1106). The lady uses Gawain to her advantage, and while he is sleeping, she sneaks into his room and kisses Gawain (Gawains poet 1307). Sir Gawain respectful fulfills her needs and is loyal remote to the lady, just like any knight should. Sir Gawain serves two lords in this poem, king Arthur, and Bertilak (Gawains poet 25, 850). He succeeds in every way possible in showing his devotion to king Arthur. At the beginning of the poem, the Green Knight rides up on his horse and challenges King Arthur (Gawains poet 225). As any brave knight should do, gawain steps in and insists on taking King.
Although, in paper certain circumstances in this poem Sir Gawain fails at his attempt to keep his devotion to all three very important people. Sometimes it is difficult for knights to establish love between and man and women, and still keep his chivalric virtue, which certainly happens to gawain in this poem (kaeuper page 210). He demonstrates these qualities in various situations during the poem, and displays devotion to all the important people at which a knight should show his devotion. Bertilaks wife is the lady he shows his respect and honor to in this particular poem (Gawains poet 943). He succeeds in many ways at showing the lady his devotion and loyalty to her. He exhibits politeness, sincerity, and loyalty to her while he stays at Bertilaks castle (Gawains poet 976-980). His knightly instinct when he first meets her is to show his full attention to her (Gawains poet 946-947). Gawain even offers to be her servant and do anything she needs of him(Gawains poet 976). Gawain did a very good job of fulfilling most of her needs.
of King Arthurs round table. Free sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essays. The Anglo-saxon's arguably most important literary piece, beowulf, is a story of a brave warrior who fights Grendel. The epic poem beowulf portrays the quintessential literary piece of the time by demonstrating both of these cultural elements. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight express the kinship from a knight to his king when Sir Gawain offers, "My body, but for your blood, is barren of worth; / And for that this folly befits not a king" (lines 131-132). Knights were no longer important, as now there were armies. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight emphasizes the importance. Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawains chivalric qualities like; devotion to god, his lord, and the lady are demonstrated and play an important role in the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
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