MAllen Knights

The edicts of courtly love and chivalry are very extensive and impossible to completely abide by, in my opinion. There are several that contradict and some that do not really make sense to a person’s everyday life. Number 14 under The Art of Courtly Love says, “The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized”. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the host’s wife kept throwing herself at Sir Gawain even after he repeatedly refused her. As Mrs. S mentioned in class, most of the time people want what they cannot have so it would have made sense for Sir Gawain to take the host’s wife because he was not supposed to be able to have her. Sir Gawain was noble and honest and did not have an affair with the host’s wife. That added to the honor Sir Gawain already had because it showed his character was not based upon the opinions and praise of others but upon what was truly right and noble.

The very last bullet under The Code of Chivalry says, “Loyalty to one’s friends and those who lay their trust in thee”. Sir Gawain was loyal to everyone. The only slight exception was when he kept the green guarder when it was time to exchange the things him and the host had received. However, the host/the Green Knight was not true to this edict at all. By being two different people and not making his true intentions of the whole plan known he was not loyal to Sir Gawain. The Green Knight was all about honor and loyalty from the way he made the wager to King Arthur and conducted himself but when everything came to light he turned out to not be very noble after all.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I really appreciated your connection between the wife’s seductive efforts and the edict “The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.” I too related the wife’s seductive efforts but focused more on Gawain’s self-control, so it was interesting to see it from a different angle. Great job!

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  2. Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think about the contrast of Gawain’s loyalty versus The Green Knight’s loyalty – or lack thereof. This does show the good versus evil, doing right versus doing wrong, etc. It shows that Gawain has a high moral character. However, I did think that his loyalty was also a huge flaw that almost resulted in his death. His naivety and trust, which are both admirable qualities, gave the Green Knight an upper-hand.

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  3. Posted January 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I personally really focused on the hosts wife’s attempted seduction and Gawains self control rather than the very apparent loyalty of the Green Knight and that of Sir Gawain himself. The fact that you compared a factor that I didnt really read too much into made me see where some connections could be made.

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