Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Oh Why Must We Be Slaves to Natural Urges? College

The idea that humans succumb to natural urges is a literary topic that has been written on for hundreds of years. Authors have often pitted human urges against a higher code, like the knightly code from the days of King Arthur. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one such literary work, in which Sir Gawain is pitted against various natural urges on his journey to fulfil a bet with the Green Knight. By alternating the use of imagery in both the civilized court and disordered wilderness, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight parallels the human conflict that Gawain faces between the knightly code he is sworn to and the natural urges he feels, such as a survival instinct. This alternating use of imagery is how the moral of the story becomes evidently clear to the audience.

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight civilized court imagery and disordered wilderness imagery is used to parallel Gawain’s transition from the pure civilized world of Arthur and the round table to the wild natural world where Gawain is forced to fight for his life and attempt to maintain his knightly virtues. At the very beginning of the poem, the author describes the “Noble knights after day rode in tourneys, jousted gallant and well, then galloped to court, and sang,...

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