Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Clash of Ideas: Christian Morals Against Human Nature College
While Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, chivalric romance by Pearl Poet, might seem as no more than a tale about heroic quest of the noble knight, an observant reader would notice a number of deeper issues discussed in this work. Perhaps the most curious question raised in the poem is Pearl Poet’s criticism of the unrealistic values of the dwellers of Camelot. The author shows gentle criticism of the obsession with appearance and implies that in the final battle between nature and nurture even the most selfless aspirations for the elevated ideas do not overweight simple needs of the human nature. This struggle between natural impulses and endeavor for the greater good is represented by a charming metaphor of the conflict between pagan beliefs and Christian moral standards. At the same time, the poet does not dismiss derived from religion values but insists that despite their greatest efforts people are still children of the Nature and should understand, accept, and remember that.
Throughout the poem Pearl Poet criticizes the widespread overvaluation of appearance and glamour over truth and action. During Christmas feast the pompous charm of the court is dimmed by the overpowering light of the Green Knight. For example, at the...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 754 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4820 literature essays, 1497 sample college application essays, 189 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in