Sir Gawain Descriptive

Sir Gawain Descriptive - Steven Austin Meek Stuart Allen...

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1Steven Austin Meek Stuart Allen World Literature II 9 November 2007 Gawain is a highly descriptive poem. What function does description have in the narrative? Extensive details in narratives are often read as simple and unimportant flowery language, but in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight there is a special emphasis on the amount of detail in it. The descriptions create an image for the reader in order that he or she can understand the meaning behind certain actions and beliefs. In this narrative, the types of imagery used are that of the season or climate, the colors and textures of fabrics, and that of the introduction of the Green Knight. In color and imagery, the author paints the very fibers of this work, allowing the reader to pick out the differences of chivalry and truth. At the beginning of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the author goes to great length physically describing the luxuriousness of Christmas time in King Arthur's court. Even though Christmas is a deeply religious holiday, in the court it is given significance based on its artistic decorations instead of its religious value. This is shown by the descriptiveness of the dais. It is portrayed as “well –decked” with “costly silk curtains,” and a canopy over Queen Guinevere. The knights at the beginning are described as “brave by din by day, dancing by night.” This shows that they are the epitomes of bravery and gentility. As the epitome of bravery and gentility the knights are not indicative by their feelings and thoughts, but rather by their appearance (Woods). Dissimilar to King Arthur’s lush description, the Green Knight appeared more earthly.
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When the Green Knight entered, his description immediately collided with the court’s careless thought to nature and the real world. While Arthur sought pleasure in hearing tales and having feasts, the Green Knight went against all that is chivalric and challenged the king to a life risking game. With a “broad neck to buttocks” the Knight was clothed in green, the color of nature. The color of green opposes the court’s luscious color of red. He was described as having no armor
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ENGL 2200 taught by Professor Allen during the Fall '07 term at Auburn University.

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Sir Gawain Descriptive - Steven Austin Meek Stuart Allen...

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