Romance In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

650 words - 3 pages

A romance as defined by most people is or could be boy meets girl they fall in love, and live happily ever after; but when you look at the definition of a romance in literature its is a narrative set in a world the ordinary laws of nature are suspended. And idealized heroes fight the forces of evil. The narrative Sir Gawain and the Green Knight contains all the elements of a romantic novel.The common romance element of good verse evil is present in the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as appears in the two main characters of the story. To begin, there is Sir Gawain, one of the noblest knights to serve King Arthur. He was not only courageous enough to accept the challenge of the Green Knight, but he was also loyal to his chance at the challenge. When it was his turn ...view middle of the document...

No human could be capable of this. He was also deceiving, as he appears to be the welcoming lord of the castle that Gawain stays at while traveling to the Green Chapel. The Green Knight arranges for his apparently chivalrous exterior. Even though the Green Knight appears to be completely evil, when it is his turn to repay Sir Gawain with a blow to his neck, he barely nicks him in punishment for taking the green sash his wife offered him for protection. The Green Knight merely wishes to make a point that the seemingly perfect knight is not so perfect. So while there is the element of good verse evil, it is not completely divided into the two characters, in some ways, both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight contain both good and evil characteristics in each of them.Sir Gawain's quest and test of a hero started when the Green Knight challenged Sir Gawain to a contest on New Years Day in the halls of King Arthur. The Green Knight would take a blow if Sir Gawain would take one a year and a day later. Later that year, in December Sir Gawain set off in search of the Green Knight. During his quest Sir Gawain was tempted many times. Three times the lord's wife came to him and tempted him with herself but Gawain refused. This was a difficult test for Gawain because he was known throughout the land for his dealings with women. However she offered him a green sash that supposedly would save his life and he took it. This was his downfall. When he found the Green Knight the knight held back striking him twice but hit him the third time, this was because he took the sash. However the Knight forgave Gawain and he was as white as the day he was born.Ultimately, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are considered a romance because it is set in a world where the normal laws of nature do not apply. Therefore the story contains the essential elements of a classic literary romance.


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