Sample Essay

According to Liu, Gawain believes a lot in the values represented by the pentangle. He does not believe in what ifs or whether he should do something or not. He believes in action no matter how unpleasant the circumstances would be and “He volunteered to undertake the Green Knight’s challenge from his sense of chivalric duty. He insists on keeping his side of the bargain, again, as part of his chivalric duty. The poet makes clear that Gawain is guided and protected entirely by his sense of morality, both Christian and chivalric, which is symbolized by the shield with Christian and chivalric symbols on it. Eventually he will encounter perils that come from other members of society and from within his own human nature. Throughout, the writer questions the viability of societal values when pitted against human nature and societal imperfection. Through his excessive descriptions of luxury and revelry, the poet has already implied the weaknesses and superficiality of human society. Gawain himself seems too perfect, too idealistic to survive unscathed in the less-than-perfect human world” (Liu, p.1).

 Gawain came out perfect in all five of his tests as has been told to us by the poet. The presence of the pentangle on the shield of Gawain suggest that his virtues of a knight would be extremely necessary in order to protect him from the hardships which he would face on the path to search for the Green Knight. It is said that, “The sides of this star combine in a single unit to make the pentangle a symbol of strength, an “endless knot”.

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