Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Conscience of Green

Arthurian legends served as a means to centralize the Celtic culture and provide the Celtic people with their own myth in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries CE. One such Celtic myth of the late fourteenth century CE is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Many interpretations have explained the Green Knight as a symbol of the spring season and a Christ-like figure. The tale does indeed portray several significant myths, such as those of Christ and a quasi spring deity, for the European people. The Green Knight and Bertilak, however, are a better representation of not a transcending conception but of a mortal essence: Sir Gawain's conscience. The symbolism of the Green Knight and Bertilak as Sir Gawain's conscience provides a cyclical development of Sir Gawain's character by juxtaposing the characters of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, juxtaposing the characters of Sir Gawain and Bertilak, and initiating Gawain's repentance for his sinful pride.

The symbolism of the characters the Green Knight and Bertilak as the conscience of Sir Gawain is first introduced with the juxtaposition of the Green Knight and Sir Gawain. In the beginning of the tale, Sir Gawain is established as a good, righteous knight without any...

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