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What chivalric value does Gawain display?

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In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain revealed extraordinary character integrity without yielding to Lady Bertilak’s seductions. Moreover, his personality demonstrated unswerving devotion to King Arthur by accepting the Green Knight’s dare and real honor by keeping his word to arrive on time and give his head under the ax.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a chivalric poem narrating one of the eminent exploits of Gawain, King Arthur’s faithful supporter. The poem shows the essence of knighthood and fidelity to his promise. The romance illustrates how Sir Gawain accepts a bizarre challenge from the Green Knight. He seeks a brave man who can hit him with an ax, provided that the Green Knight will avenge in a year and one day. Among all present, only Sir Gawain dares to chop off the impudent his head. As if nothing has occurred, the Knight lifts it, sits on his horse, and reminds Gawain of the fixed time.

While searching the Green Chapel, Gawain discovers himself in Lord Bertilak’s castle. There Bertilak and Gawain make a deal. The former will give Gawain everything he gets during the hunt, while the latter will provide him with everything he gets this day. For the next three days, in the Lord’s absence, Lady Bertilak tries to tempt Gawain. Yet, she obtains only a few humble kisses. Additionally, when the third day comes, Lady Bertilak gives Gawain a green silk girdle. It can defend a person from any bodily damages.

On New Year’s Day, Gawain achieves the Green Chapel. There, the Green Knight puts Gawain’s bravery to the trial that Gawain courageously endures. Further, the enigmatic hero discloses his true name. He proclaims that the young knight’s genuine test is not to stand under the blow but to keep the purity. Gawain resists it with distinction. Gawain returns to Camelot carrying a green girdle as a reproach for an unfulfilled promise. The other knights remove the disgrace from him in recognition of Gawain’s integrity.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What chivalric value does Gawain display'. 25 January.

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