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What is the significance of the green girdle?

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The green girdle is a symbol of virtuousness that rises above any other Christian elements of faith. It allows anyone to expose themselves to the girdle and test their faith while also realizing their faults. Gawain’s humility defines the need to include the green girdle in the story and then make it a symbol of faith and virtue.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most important literary works of the Romantic genre. It emphasizes the crucial value of knights serving God and achieving a bigger purpose. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is not a typical chivalric tale. It touches upon a crucial topic – a person’s faith. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the green belt is more than a symbol. It is the tool that changes Gawain’s perception of the world throughout the poem.

The girdle is an inanimate piece of Gawain’s costume. Yet, the knight recognizes the value of the belt later. As time passes, he realizes that the personal oath that he had been holding to is more than a mere promise. The green girdle becomes the ultimate shield from sin for Gawain and lets him strengthen his commitment to God. With the green girdle, Sir Gawain perceives himself as immortal. He believes that he has access to evidently supernatural powers.

On the other hand, the story is far from the Arthurian ambiance. Gawain places his trust in God and overcomes his hardships with the help of immense spiritual efforts. The green girdle becomes a source of faith for Gawain, showing that he is ready for any obstacles presented by the Green Knight. Despite all the challenges, Gawain preserves a pure mind and remains transparent with God.

The fact that Gawain recurrently exhibits the pentangle is an essential factor as well. What does this mean for the story? It links the religious symbolism of the poem and the virtues that the knight actually possesses. The attribute of having a pure mind distracts Gawain from his purpose. The girdle’s magical powers distract Gawain from the real source of determination as per the manuscripts of God.

Greedy and selfish at first, Sir Gawain turns into a faithful knight at the end of the story. He aims to prove that conviction is only essential for the one who believes in its value. As soon as Gawain realizes the adverse effects of him putting his trust in an inanimate object, he proceeds to recognizing and correcting his mistakes. It makes him even more virtuous than he had been before.

Overall, the green girdle helps to humble the knight. Basically, it shows him the other way to display his courteousness. As soon as Gawain confesses to the Green Knight, he releases his sins and gives in to God’s powers. Thus, the green girdle reminds the readers of the significance of being virtuous and unpretentious at all times.

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"What is the significance of the green girdle?" IvyPanda, 25 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-significance-of-the-green-girdle/.

1. IvyPanda. "What is the significance of the green girdle?" January 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-significance-of-the-green-girdle/.


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IvyPanda. "What is the significance of the green girdle?" January 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-significance-of-the-green-girdle/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "What is the significance of the green girdle?" January 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-significance-of-the-green-girdle/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What is the significance of the green girdle'. 25 January.

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