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Archetypes - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Hassan Sadruddin 0

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Hassan Sadruddin

on 10 November 2014

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Transcript of Archetypes - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Hassan Sadruddin 0

The cross is an archetype which is repeated throughout the story to symbolize the sins that Jesus died for. When Sir Gawain is being tempted by the Lord's wife, he rises "And crossed himself, as though to bless his words"(95). Here, Sir Gawain crosses his arms for help in not committing the sin of adultery.
Green is an archetype repeated throughout the story, one of the best representations of this is the Green Belt. The Green Belt given to Sir Gawain by the Green Knight represents Sir Gawain's sins, imperfection, and the hope to be a better person. When Sir Gawain accepts the belt from The Green Knight, he says, "I'll keep it, gladly, not for its gold, nor its cost, nor for honor, nor the glorious craft that made it, but to see it, often, as a sign for my sin" (131).
Red is repeated throughout the story as one of
Sir Gawain's colors. When Sir Gawain was leaving the kingdom to go find the Green Knight, "a rich red rug was spread on the floor" (75). The red represents sacrifice, for the journey Sir Gawain was going to start and the sacrifice he would make in honor.
The Castle is important in the story because it keeps Sir Gawain from freezing and failing his journey to find the Green Knight. In the middle of his journey he stumbled upon the "castle-the loveliest ever owned"(80). The castle was bewitched and was the most important part of his journey because it held the test.
When Sir Gawain strikes The Green Knight with his sword, he "swung it high in both hands, balancing his left foot in front of him" (86) he swung and chopped of the Green Knights head. His left foot was an archetype of stability and deviousness.
When Sir Gawain arrived at the castle in the middle of his journey, the castle was "set deep among massive trees" (80). The trees signify knowledge, because when Sir Gawain stays at the castle, he goes through many tests and learns a lot about himself and his sins.
During Sir Gawain's journey to find the Green Knight, he "rode down a hill to a deep forest" (79). The forest represents evil because in the forest is the bewitched castle.
During Sir Gawain's journey to find the Green Knight, he "set into mountains" (79). This represented Sir Gawain's ambition and goals to complete the challenge and fulfill his promise.
The number three is an archetype repeated constantly throughout the poem. When Sir Gawain met the Green Knight and it was his turn to swing at Sir Gawain's neck, he swung three times, the third time he "hurt him only with a nick" (127). The three swings is an archetype of life and death.
Sir Gawain is represented by the archetype of "The Journey" because when Sir Gawain accepts the challenge, "give me your axe, I'll grant your request" (66), he begins his journey.
The Lord's wife represents "The battle between good vs evil". She tries to tempt Sir Gawain to adultery, "You're not to rise: I've better plans" (95). Sir Gawain is forced into a situation where he has to battle to the right thing.
The Green Knight represents "The Quest" because he sends the hero (Sir Gawain) in search for him to complete the challenge he had promised, "I'll come to you, however hard the road"(68).
The lord represents "The Magic Weapon" because his belt is what helps prove his actual identity as The Green Knight, "The belt you're wearing is mine, my wife gave it to you" (129).
"Heaven vs Wilderness" is seen when Sir Gawain comes to rest and recover at the castle, "Gawain watched his gracious host and judged him a worthy knight" (82).
As Sir Gawain approached the castle, the men of the castle "begged him to ride on that broad bridge and he raised them a hand and road across" (82). The bridge is an archetype for transformation because the castle is where his transformation and tests begin in him becoming a better person and learning of his sins.
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