The poem under consideration is full of a number of symbols. When the poet describes Gawain’s departure to search for the Green knight, he puts forward a very deep description of the armor carried by Gawain. Here, a very prominent symbol on his armor is that of a pentangle, which perhaps is the only most evident symbol in the entire poem. The pentangle has a number of meanings and provides him physical and mortal protection. He has a pentangle on the outside which has Virgin Mary on the inside, near to his hear, which puts forward the notion that his belief in God was very strong (Analysis of the work, p.1).
Even though he does not pronounce his faith, yet he displays the pentangle to everyone along with its chivalric code and it is said that, “By causing the reader to view Gawain’s quest in terms of the pentangle, the narrator compares the knightly ideals with the reality of Gawain’s life. The narrator uses the pentangle to promote the knightly ideals, but he also accentuates the primary need for truth in knightly conduct. Finally, the difference between Gawain’s reaction to his failure and others’ perception of his faults remind the reader that no one can reach the ideal, and rather than getting bitter, we should learn from our mistakes” (Matias, p.1). This basically tells us the value of being truthful for a knight, and also that we must not get disheartened by our faults but should work on them to fix the damage that has been caused. The pentangle has five points and each point stands for five virtues of chivalry which will be discussed further on.
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