Heroes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Joseph Campbell Essay
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Heroes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Joseph Campbell
Many would agree that although there are many stories about heroes, they all seem similar in some way. Joseph Campbell wrote many books about this theory of a "hero cycle" that every hero story follows. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this pattern is clearly exemplified and it shows the numerous steps in Joseph Campbell's idea of the hero cycle. The first step in Campbell's hero cycle is "the call." This is when the hero of the story is drawn into some type of journey, challenge, or adventure. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this step occurs after the Green Knight enters the castle and requests a challenge, and no one but King Arthur will accept it. Then, Sir…show more content…
The Green Knight agrees if Gawain will come to wherever he thinks the Green Knight will be. Of course, Gawain has no clue where he would find him, so the Green Knight says that he will tell him if Gawain can hit him square on the neck. Then Sir Gawain strikes him directly on his neck, and the Green Knights head rolls off. The Green Knight proceeds to pick up his head and leave, while bleeding terribly from the neck as if he were unharmed. Before he leaves, he tells Sir Gawain to come to the Green Chapel when they agreed. So then a year passes before Gawain comes across his second trial. It occurs while Gawain stays in the castle of a hospitable lord before he is to meet again with the Green Knight. During his stay, the lord and Sir Gawain agree to "exchange what each has won during the day" (Ponsor 128). For three days the lord brings back what he has hunted, and Gawain gives him the kisses he has received from the lady of the castle. However, he also received a magical green scarf from the lady on the third day, but fails to exchange it for it is a token of good luck. When Sir Gawain finally meets with the Green Knight, he prepares to be struck with a scythe, but the Green Knight ends up only giving him a minor scratch on the neck. This is because the knight was testing his honor, and he scratched him because he did not maintain his honor on that third day. He was supposed to hand over
|The Great Sir Gawain (csis.pace.edu)|
One of the definitions of the word “Epic” includes heroic, majestic, and impressively great Some definitions for the word “Hero” include brave, noble, and admirable. Sir Gawain is all of the words listed before and more, that's why I chose Sir Gawain to write my hero essay about. In the poem of Sir Gawain and the green knight we find our hero faced with a quest of amazing proportions. To me, Sir Gawain is more than a character; he shows that you can make mistakes and still be able to show your heroism. That is why I enjoy Sir Gawain's heroism, because of its uniqueness.
One of Sir Gawain's traits I find most admirable is his Chivalry. He has his heart set on only one, he has his heart set on the holy mother Mary. In the poem we learn that he has a picture of her on the inside of his shield. Being such a gentlemen is a good trait; even when the lady of the castle tried to have her way with him, he stayed chivalrous and didn't Shun her away but didn't let her win. To me respect is very important, no matter what the situation.
Another trait of Sir Gawain's I enjoy is his honor. He stepped up to the Green Knight when the knight challenged his uncle, King Arthur, in his own castle. After being tricked by the knight and knowing he was to be slain he still went out looking for the Green Chapel. If that's not honorable, then I wouldn't be able to tell you what is. The way he didn't disrespect the lady of the castle [which turns out to be the Green Chapel] where he was resting before he fought the Green Knight, was a truly honorable act.
There was one thing about Sir Gawain that I found more compelling than the other epic heroes. At the end of the great Sir Gawain's poem, he gives up his faith in the Lord by wearing a green sash [belt] which the lady of the castle says will protect him. Even though Sir Gawain made this mistake, it does not mean he is not a hero anymore; it just shows how human he is. Sir Gawain will always be a hero to me. Humans make mistakes; I know I made my share and I'm positive others have made their share too.
I can't think of anyone else better then Sir Gawain to think of as a role model. The way Sir Gawain handles himself in any situation is an amazing thing to read. I hope that Sir Gawain's poem will always be taught in classes everywhere because it's one story that gets to the heart in one way or another.
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Last edited 1/6/2017 6:46:18 PM