Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Analysis

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Analysis

This essay will provide a literary analysis of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” exploring its themes of chivalry, honor, and the human struggle with moral challenges. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Analysis.

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“The story starts with the green knight barging in on a dinner between King Arthur and his round table. He dares any of them to exchange one blow for another, the only one who agreed was Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain chops off the Green Knights head and the Green Knight then rides away holding his own head. A year later Sir Gawain goes off in search for the Green Knight. He finds a castle where a lord invites him in. The lord plays an odd game with Sir Gawain.

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The rules of the game are whatever the lord gets that day he gives to Sir Gawain and whatever Sir Gawain gets he gives to the lord. A few days later he meets the Green Knight where he swings an axe to Sir Gawain’s neck three times but never cuts off his neck. Afterwards the Green Knight exposes himself as the lord and expresses to Sir Gawain his honor.


One of the themes of “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” is the that of chivalry. Chivalry in the story expresses the values of Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain sticks to them which is what keeps him from sleeping with the host’s wife and what keeps him alive when the Green Knight recognizes his chivalry. Another theme in this story is “everyone is human” this is seen when he flinches at the Green Knight’s axe and accepts the ladys’ offering of the green girdle showing that he is human.

In “Sir Gawain And The Green Knight” there are four colors used as an image green, red, gold,and white. Green is used most often. It is used as an image of life, nature, renewal, hope, and safety. The unkillable knight is green which represents life and renewal. You see this when Sir Gawain took a blow out the Green Knights neck he survived and replaces his head. The barrow where sir gawain meets with the knight represents nature and the green sash that the lord’s wife gives to sir Gawain represents hope, and safety. The color red is used as an image of blood,sacrifice , love and courage the blood that is shed from Sir Gawain and the knight when their necks are hit represents blood and sacrifice. Sir Gawain puts on a velvet red cloak when he has to face the green knight which is a symbol of courage. Gold is used as a symbol of money, value and success. The lord’s wife offers a very valuable gold ring but he does not accept it. After the Green Knight shows that he is the lord he gives him a gold embroidered girdle as a trophy because Gawain succeeded. The last color is white which is an image of goodness and virtue. The green knight tells Gawain “I consider you polished as white and as perfectly clean” this shows that the Green Knight sees sir Gawain as a good person.

Sir Gawain and the green knight fits into the romance genre because there is a romance between the lords wife and sir Gawain she comes to his room often and gives him innocent kisses even though she wants to give him more. There is some sort of love connection between them because sir Gawain promises to tell no one of the gifts she gave him. He is convinced that she loves him because he swears to her that he will be her humble knight in the end the lord tells Gawain that he knows of his wifes visits to his room because he sent her to test him. The story ends with the lord saying to Gawain “as for my wife she will be your friend no more a threat to your life.”

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Analysis. (2021, Apr 15). Retrieved from