An unknown poet during the Medieval time period wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain is an Arthurian legend, a story about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, centered on the protagonist Sir Gawain.
In the poem, a Green Knight comes to challenge the king, but Gawain decides to go in place of the king. Gawain makes a deal with the Green Knight. If he can’t kill the Green Knight then the knight gets to try to kill Gawain in one year. Gawain fails to kill the Green Knight. Gawain leaves the castle in search of the Green Knight, and he stops at a castle to stay for the three nights.Gawain and the king of the castle make a bargain to give each other everything they receive during each day.
Gawain stays true to his compact until the last day. He keeps a “magic” green girdle for himself thinking that it will save him from death. When he meets the knight, he prepares to get cut by the Green Knight’s axe. The first two attempts fail to do any damage, but the third leaves a small cut. Gawain is shocked by what happened.
The Green Knight explains that he is the king, and Gawain only got cut because he didn’t give the king the green girdle on the third day.Gawain vows to wear the girdle as a symbol of his sin. When he returns to Camelot, the rest of the knights wear a green sash so Gawain won’t feel as if he is the only one among them who has sinned. Gawain wears the green sash as a reminder of his sin. Gawain says, “As a token of my trespass I shall turn to it often when I ride in renown, ruefully recalling the failure and the frailty of the flesh so perverse.
”(98) This quotation means he will wear the sash always, and he will use it as a constant reminder of his sin, when he hid the green girdle from the king. This is the token of the troth-breach that I am detected in, and need must I wear it while in the world I remain, for a man may cover his blemish, but unbind it he cannot, for where once ‘tis applied, thence part will it never. ”(101) Gawain says that his wound on his neck will heal, but the sash will remain with him as long as he lives. Gawain shows that he wants to better himself and learn from his mistakes. The king and courtiers are stunned when Gawain returns alive, and they are forgiving to Gawain about his sin. They all start to wear green sashes in order to make Gawain feel better about his faults.
And all the lords and ladies belonging to the Table / Laughed loudly, and concluded amiably / That each brave man of the brotherhood should bear a baldric / A band, obliquely about him, of bright green, / Of the same hue as Sir Gawain’s and for his sake wear it. ”(101) The king and the courtiers respond to Gawain’s confession passionately. The king and the other knights wear sashes similar to Gawain “for the love of that knight. ”(101) Gawain feels remorseful about his sin.
“It was torment to tell the truth; in his face the blood did flame; he groaned for grief and ruth when he showed it, to his shame. (100) The other knights recognize his pain. They also wear the sashes to help Gawain forgive himself. Everyone makes mistakes.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight reminded me of a time when a friend helped me feel better. When I was little, I use to climb a tree with my brother and two cousins. One day we found a new tree. It was twice as tall as the other tree. I was terribly frightened of climbing that tree.
I told them I could not climb the tree, and my brother and older cousin laughed at me. It made me feel so embarrassed. I ran into the house completely distraught.My younger cousin came after me, and he told me that he could not climb the tree either.
My cousin made feel better about my short coming as the other knights did to Gawain by wearing the green sash. I was surprised that he would take all the jokes from the older kids just to make me feel better. We went back outside and laughed as the older kids failed to climb the tree. I learned sometimes we make mistakes, like Gawain, and sometimes we can’t do something, like me. All we have to do is put it behind us and keep trying to improve ourselves.