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MEDVL_101_Assngt_3 - King Arthur Assignment 3(Revision...

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King Arthur Assignment 3 (Revision) Thomas Hahn, author of the scholarly article, “Gawain and popular chivalric romance in Britain”, views Gawain precisely how he is presented in many medieval stories—as the “chevalier exemplaire, the paragon against which manhood is measured”. Many medieval authors used Gawain in their works to play the role of the protagonist. During the medieval period, Gawain was widely known as a powerful symbol of chivalry and the greatness of King Arthur’s court. But, does Gawain live up to his reputation as a chivalrous knight in the poem ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ ? As we will discover, Gawain is not all that Hahn builds him up to be; in fact, Gawain will appear increasingly human as the poem progresses. In his article, Hahn depicts Gawain as a courageous and “chivalric hero”. I agree with Hahn’s assertion because in Fitt 1 of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ , Gawain stated, ‘Think of your bold knights, bursting to fight, as ready and willing as men can be: defer to their needs. And I am the slightest, the dullest of them all; my life the least, my death no loss - My only worth is you, my royal Uncle, all my virtue is through you. And this foolish business fits my station, not yours: let me play this green man's game. If I ask too boldly, may this court declare me at fault?’ This statement by Gawain is full of chivalric ideals. By offering to take the place of his superior, King Arthur, and by taking on a dangerous task, Gawain is performing a chivalrous deed. Gawain persisted in showing his chivalric ideals and courage when he overcame numerous obstacles in his journey to find the Green Chapel. Along the way, Gawain was often alone and saw no one but his horse until he reached northern Wales. When he arrived in Wirral Forest, “where few good men lived”, he could not find anyone who knew of the Green Knight or the Green Chapel. From then on he constantly met enemies in the form of dragons, wolves,
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satyrs, forest trolls, bulls, bears, boars, and giant ogres. This proves Hahn’s point that Gawain
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