Free «Chivalry, Honesty and Bravery» Essay Sample

The work of medieval literature, Gawain and the Green Knight, vividly portrays virtual, morality and chivalric zest of the main character, sir Gawain. Sir Gawain embodies all important features and character traits values and appraised by the middle society. He is portrayed as real hero able to protect weak and poor from oppression and subjugation.  However more often his reaction was an eager curiosity to know what another person's exis­tence really felt like. It means that evil nature can control out good side and lead to terrible events a person cannot control. Thesis As a real hero, sir Gawain comes in contact with ex­pression of nihilism resulting in his rebellion against life itself in a way that is rarely possible inactual life the author depicts moral and honest desire of sir Gawain, through his spirits, eternal memory and romantic nature.

The passage selected for analysis describes a temptation of Gawain and his desire to take a girdle from the lady. Still, he resists temptation and tries to keep his virtues and moral values. Sir Gawain contribution to the pessimism which characterizes so much of the important writing of the mid-ninetieth century was to probe the inner recesses of human behavior to see by what instincts people are governed.

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I will give you my girdle as a lesser gift." With that she loosened a lace that was fastened at her side, knit upon her kirtle under her mantle.  … "And therefore, I pray ye, displease ye not, and ask me no longer, for I may not grant it. I am dearly beholden to ye for the favour ye have shown me, and ever, in heat and cold, will I be your true servant" (Gawain and the Green Knight, n.d.).

Sir Gawain denied that man is by nature a social being and upheld instead that each individual is fundamentally guided by self-interest. This frustration-feeling is very prevalent; readers often have vague feelings of dissatisfaction, cynical indifference and so on, and often we have no knowledge of their causes and so no possible means of dissolving them. Everything has to conform to the pattern of behavior Sir Gawain perceives as natural to man and which he therefore imposes upon the world. Readers sense the inevitability of Sir Gawain movement towards savagery, though the author relates the stories with such economy and intensity that its predictability does not become monotonous. The origins of his trust in moral principles can be seen at the beginning. Perhaps the hero most notable quality is his conscience, which leads him to puzzle. This passage changes our understanding of chivalry and moral values based on strong persona codes of honesty and openness.

Sir Gawain embodies such virtues as strong personal ideals and honesty. Sir Gawain proposes a view of man's essential nature which one might more normally expect to find argued in a philosophical treatise. Indeed, if the reader feels sometimes that the plotting of this hero is too schematic and relentless, this may be because Sir Gawain are more concerned to demonstrate his ideology about the incipient self-centeredness of the human than to explore the psychology of individual characters. Sir Gawain isolates himself from the world. The wall of traditions gives no quarter: a smothering reproach, perhaps, to his debasement of heritage and country.

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It would be widely agreed, in a general way, that sir Gawain is a person with a wide range of feelings who has a fuller life than a person with a more restricted range; and that he is alive when he is feeling freshly, or profoundly, or delicately; and that lack of all feeling is death and unconsciousness. But certain distinctions critics make within the scope of these-propositions are by no means widely recognized; for example, that fresh strong feeling in sir Gawain is a different thing from the mass strong feeling in the people; or that some types and manifestations of feeling are gross self-indulgence and are not at all the thing they appear to be; or that an appearance of strong feeling may be only a mask hiding some weakness or other.

Similar to works of the classical period (namely the Aeneid by Virgil), sir Gawain and Aeneas have very similar characteristics and all engaged in treacherous tales with a myriad of virtues, and fortune and fame trailing in behind them.  Although they appear to be cold and ruthless at times it is their yearning desire to love and be loved. Aeneas claims:

               “Where honors, ever due, for ever shall be paid.
               For these deserts, and this high virtue shown,
               Ye warlike youths, your heads with garlands crown:
               Fill high the goblets with a sparkling flood,
               And with deep draughts invoke our common god" (Virgil). 

Still, the main differences between sir Gawain and Aeneas is that sir Gawain pays attention to romantic ideals and personal values while Aeneas concentrates on heroic deeds and journeys. Still, all heroes are on predestined journeys, all striving for what sometimes seemed unobtainable to them and the audience alike.  Some of their lives even intertwined within tales, displaying the many qualities that they all had in common.  However the various stories are relayed, there is always a sense of wonder and respect for the many heroes. In contrast to Aeneas, for Sir Gawain, sin and guilt are the main characteristics of the personality which force its development. Sir Gawain appeals to emotions of readers through deep psychological experiences and his perception of sin and guilt based on traditions and values. The main character has the extraordinary level of inner freedom and rebellion nature. Sin of Sir Gawain is combined with eternal laws. The dark necessity in all human affairs is the inheritance writers did not quite know what to do with. Most of them were storytellers, never wished or pretended to be anything else. His moodiness inhibits exploration of human behavior. Sir Gawain is disobedient fellow who committed a terrible wrong in the past. Any attempt to criticizes human nature without paying careful attention to virtuous responses must appear to be incomplete. Even if Sir Gawain is far from ideal man, it reflects the features of great earnestness. To some extent, both the romantic dreams and the social pretension are destroyed by the past of Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain wealth, far from raising him to a higher sphere, associates him with a despised convict. To learn to perceive, in writing, the reality and worth of the emotion in and behind it, is to help readers’ emotional and intellectual growth. Such growth is not the same thing as mental precocity. While Aeneas outgrows the feelings belonging specifically to 'childish things', not all attain a fullmaturity which im­plies having sowsunderstanding of feelings, and having control over themor managementof them when necessary.

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The modern piece of writing, which reflects virtues is the Green Mile by Stephen King. This novel concentrates on violence and cruelty affected modern society but portrays the inability of the main character, Paul Edgecomb, to continue executions at prison. This hero differs greatly from Aeneas and sir Gawain, but he reflects social and personal problems of a little man. The character maintains real loyalty, comes to value his wisdom and decency. In an allegorical interpretation of the Romantic works he represents man's capacity to invent; his life shows the intolerance of society towards its thinkers. The character of Paulcombines the moral and social qualities of a man. He inherits his honesty. In his love for women he shows that he has none of snobbery. His tact is evident in his treatment of women and manners. Much of the conflict derives from this contrast between nature and man. Certain key words like 'devil' often recur in order to emphasize the evil atmosphere which descends upon the main character. Where fundamental values are denied humans are turned into corpses at astounding rates.

The facts mentioned above show that a modern virtue grows from century old traditions and values of chivalry. Virtue is a complex notion influenced by social and personal ideals and values. The virtuous man has contrasted features such as conflicting emotions and moodiness, self-criticism and sinness. Most of his personal qualities are certainly drawn to the past of the hero depicting him as a patient sufferer. Everything about the old world was central to a virtuous man interior life; in some way that was both his life ordeal and his opportunity as a hero, a virtuous man is bonded to the past. He associated shame over his terrible ancestors with the guilty excitement he felt. A virtuous man comes to know that every moment and every act share the same fate. All are destined to dissolution, to be swept up and fixed in the complete picture of a terminated existence. The anticipation of his own life dissolves the feeling of overriding importance. The gritty feel about the hero also gives an added realistic mood and that might signify the reality of everyday life. The trend towards more smooth representation parallels the transition of the general audience to a higher emotional level. A virtuous man belongs to the historical archetypes when the idea of a gentleman was such a vital topic for discussion. As one might expect, given the limits of his own education, the heropays less attention to the intellectual aspect of gentility.

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