Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

What is the role of color in this poem; How do symbolic colors link Gawain to the Green Knight?


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We should also note the recurring colors of green and gold in the description of the Green Knight. Similar to the battle-axe and holly, the green obviously indicates his raw, natural character, yet the gold implies something different. Gold is, after all, often associated with wealth, royalty, and the ultimate level of society. In medieval times, it was seen as the desired end product of the meticulous process of alchemy, the final possible attainment for human beings. Thus, the gold here brings a note of civility and social greatness to the figure of the Green Knight, in addition to his Otherworldly nature. As the poem progresses, green and gold will continue to take on a greater significance, especially in relation to the character of Gawain himself.