The Green Knight Essays

I cannot possibly fit all the characters, symbols, and plot points into one post, so think of this list as a starting point to generate your own ideas. While some pieces of literature break the normal structure—exposition, rising action, conflict, falling action, resolution—Sir Gawain sticks with convention. Then add any or all of the following: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight explores the theme of chivalry throughout various points in the poem.As a knight, Gawain must stand up for his king, which pulls him into the game with the Green Knight in the first place.

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Well, after a long journey and some soul searching, he ends up being right.

He lies about the green girdle, thereby breaking the rules of the game.

However, he does the honorable thing by vowing to wear the girdle as a visible recognition of his shame.

In doing so, he (and the other knights) turn the girdle into a symbol of honor.

When Gawain stays at Lord Bertilak’s castle, he accepts Lady Bertilak’s gift primarily because he thinks it will make him immortal, but partly because it is the chivalrous thing to do if a lover offers a gift or token.

Finally, because of Sir Gawain’s chivalrous and honorable nature, he voluntarily wears the girdle as a sign of shame.Characters, like plot, are easy to simply summarize—so don’t fall into that trap here, either.Choose one character, such as Gawain, the Green Knight, or Lady Bertilak, and show your reader you really understand the character.Given the number of options, writing about literary devices can be easier than writing a plot or character analysis because you won’t run out of material—and you won’t fall into the trap of summarizing.Now that you know three of the roads you can take, I’ll give you some specific details about each one. Instead, include a brief summary of what happens at each plot point.The color green’s association to survival is shown right away.The same power that turns the Green Knight green is responsible for making him survive a decapitation.This survival symbolism continues when Lady Bertilak gives Gawain the green girdle and tells him it makes the wearer invincible.Even though this turns out to be untrue, Gawain wears it in order to survive.It’s important to write your thesis before you start writing the rest of your paper. However, keep in mind you’re writing an analysis, not a summary.This ensures you have a clear direction to show where your analysis is heading. Before you go diving head first into building the perfect thesis statement, let’s look at a few different paths for writing a killer Sir Gawain and the Green Knight analysis—plot, characters, and literary devices. Break down each plot point, and explain its significance to the rest of the story.


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