The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight exhibits the medieval romance features such as supernaturalism, courtly love, chivalry, and mysteries in various aspects. This paper is going to analyze and discuss the medieval romance features exhibited in the poem.
The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight depicts the idea of conflict between chivalry and the knighthood. As Ferrante in Woman as Image in Medieval Literature from the twelfth century to Dante explains, chivalry is a term mostly applied during the medieval romance period where men showed their kindness, politeness, and unselfishness towards their women. The knights had a code that bound them to their king especially regarding loyalty. The conflict between chivalry and knighthood is presented when the Green Knight sets up Sir Gawain with a lady in an attempt to test his loyalty to the king. Sir Gawain manages to prove his loyalty to the king by refusing the woman without hurting the ladys feelings as well. He refuses to take the gifts from the lady. Again, he proves his loyalty to the king by taking part in the games prepared by the Green Knight; he tells the king would you grant me the grace; to be gone from this bench and stand by you there (340).
The mystical and supernaturalism elements are exhibited through the character the Green Knight. Field in A Rereading of" Sir Gawain and the Green Knight explains that despite losing his head, the Green Knight still manages to stay alive. Yet fell not fellow no faltered a whit..steps into the stirrup, bestrides his mount (430-435). It is not possible for a man to lose his head and still picks his head and appears not to be hurt.
Courtly love is another medieval romance element exhibited in the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain interacts with the two ladies, Lady Bertalik and Guenevere. Walker in The Green Knight's Challenge states that Gawains situation compelled him to show both ladies respect and love. This, however, exposes Gawain to the greatest challenge of establishing a balance between knighthood and chivalry. He does not know how to react when in front of Lady Guenevere. Therefore, he pretends to be sleeping when she steps into his room; so he started and stretched, as startled from sleep (1200).
In conclusion, based on the features discussed above; for example, courtly love, chivalry, mysteries and supernaturalism, I believe that the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight fits to be a medieval romance text.
Ferrante, Joan M. Woman as Image in Medieval Literature from the twelfth century to Dante. Labyrinth, 1975.Field, P. J. C. "A Rereading of" Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"." Studies in Philology 68.3 (1971): 255-269.
Contentstore. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Accessed on 10th March, 2017 from http://contentstore.ple.platoweb.com/content/sharedmedia/Passages/English11/assets/BLIT_06L_Gawain.htm
Walker, Greg. "The Green Knight's Challenge: Heroism and Courtliness in Fitt I of" Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"." The Chaucer Review 32.2 (1997): 111-128.
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