narrative constructed by representing general concepts (Sin, Despair, and God)
that represent general concepts. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight can be
interpreted allegorically by reviewing the characteristics and features of
together. Some of the allegorical features found in the characters are obvious.
The character Sir Gawain has the most obvious allegorical features within the
poem. Sir Gawain is more than a knight; he represents "everyman" on a
quest. During the late 1300’s noble men displayed five classical
beneficence. One can interpret Gawain’s imperfectness as "everyman’s
judgment surely". Gawain represents "everyman" on a quest because
at the end of every quest one receives judgment. Each mistake that Gawain makes
represents man’s sins. At the end of Sir Gawain’s journey to find the Green
Knight he is judged by the Green Knight. Gawain’s reply to the Green Knight
supports the idea of Gawain facing judgment. "Met my master on a
man." In addition, this reply by Gawain suggests that the Green Knight
represents God. The Green Knight represents God in many different ways. The
first and most obvious feature of God that the Green Knight represents is his
judging Sir Gawain. Like God, the Green Knight sets Gawain out on a journey
honor, and strength during the three days at the Castle Hautdesert. Each day at
During his stay at the castle, Gawain receives three kisses from the Fair Lady.
Gawain. This is shown when the Green Knight says to Gawain, "You kissed my
comely wife?I know well the tale?And the wooing of my wife–it was all my
Knight, much like God, tests mankind’s honor and loyalty. Gawain fails his test
by committing the sin of adultery, and for his sin he will receive three blows.
The three blows that Gawain receives represent all people repenting their sins.
Lastly, the Green Knight acts like God by allowing Gawain to live despite his
sins of adultery and deception. Gawain not only commits adultery, but he also
tries to deceive the Green Knight by wearing the invulnerable green girdle. The
girdle makes Gawain invincible and free from the harm of the Green Knight’s axe.
Gawain to die for his sins in the chapel, but by wearing the green armor Gawain
is denying his chosen fate. Despite all of this, the Green Knight lets Sir
Gawain exchange the green girdle for his life. Even though the Fair Lady acts as
temptation, she is representative of something else. The Fair Lady represents
not only "temptation", but the fox as well. Like a fox she is, cunning
and deceptive. The Fair Lady uses her slyness and wits to manipulate and seduce
great hunt. The Fair Lady is much like the fox in the way she is able to
cleverly answer each one of Gawain’s replies and persuade him into accepting the
green girdle. The fox is not a great prize in itself, but the honor that it
stands for is priceless. To hunt and kill a fox shows great skills and smarts.
It is the ultimate hunt, not because of the prize, but because of the chase.
and smart, and to woo such a lady is a great accomplishment. The Fair Lady
represents both "temptation" and "achievement". The
allegorical interpretation of the Fair Lady and Sir Gawain’s encounters is that
of a man on a quest, having to overcome different temptations and challenges
along his way. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is more than an Arthurian
Romance, it is also an allegory. It represents man’s search for God and the
temptations that one faces in their long journey. Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight is justifiably an allegory because Gawain represents "everyman"
on a quest, the Green Knight represents "God", and the Fair Lady
represents "temptation" and "achievement". This poem
story to represent general concepts–Everyman, God, Temptation, and Achievement.