Chivalry was a major quality that people wanted to live up to between the twelfth and fifteenth century. Chivalry meant that a person had to be brave, courteous, generous, gallant, show respect for women, and have excellent manners on a daily basis. Chivalry was a hard quality for people to accept and be able to perform on a daily basest, but it was still a quality that many people had a lot of respect for, and wanted to have. People even started writing short stories about chivalry, and the different warriors in there fancy armor.
Authors started to write stories about chivalry due to the fact that there was so much respect for chivalrous people and it was such a hard quality for a person to have. Most of he stories that were written were mainly about a select group of honor able knights and a King;the king was King Arthur and the knights were the different Knights of the Round Table. One popular example of a character in a story that showed there chivalrousness is Sir Gawain in the story “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. “
In the short story “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, Sir Gawain showed his chivalrous qualities by doing good deeds throughout the short story. Some of these chivalrous qualities included remaining loyal to his King, respecting another man’s wife, and living up to his word even though it might of lead to his death. At the start of the short story there was a “New Year’s Eve feast going on at King Arthur’s Court in Camelot. (pg. 96)” The festivities were just about to begin, but before the festivities could get started they were “interrupted by an immense green knight who suddenly… peared at the hall door. (pg. 96)”
The knight came to the party riding “a green horse and… armed with a gigantic ax. (pg. 96)” The knight came to the festivities not to have a good time, but to challenge “The captain of… [the] crowd: (pg. 96 line 5)” Better known as King Arthur of Camelot. The Green Knight wanted to challenge anyone to a contest that was in the house. The contest involved any person in the house standing up and giving a blow to this mysterious knight and allowing the knight to return the blow twelve months later.
Sir Gawain showed a lot of courage when he agreed to take the give the blow to this mysterious man in the name of camelot. If he wouldn’t of accepted the challenge King Arthur would have had to take the the challenge and Camelot may of lost there dear King forever. By excepting the challenge Sir Gawain showed his loyalty to his King because nobody wants there precious King to die. On that New Years Eve Sir Gawain gave the green knight the one blow and twelve months later had to o on a quest to find the green chapel. On his way to the green chapel to receive his blow he met a lord of a castle.
The lord had a castle and a wife he that stayed at the castle. The wife was a temptress and tried to tempt Sir Gawain into doing different sexual things with him. He was strong and respect the Lords property. Sir Gawain could of easily of had the woman sexually but instead he remained a knight with good chivalrous and moral qualities. After spending the several days at the lords castle and overcoming the temptress. Sir Gawain made his way to the green chapel. Were he once again ran into his opponent the green knight.
Sir Gawain “proffered, with good grace, his bare back to the blade” (pg. 106 line 350-351)but instead of just sitting there and taking the blow from the green knight. Sir Gawain jumped on the first time. The second time around though Sir Gawain told the green knight to “strike [him] once more; [he] shall neither flinch nor flee. (pg 106 lines 374-375) Being the noble man he was he didn’t flinch or move at all. He once again showed bravery. Many of men wouldn’t of even made the quest to accept a fatal blow from such an opponent like the green knight but Sir Gawain did.
Many things made Sir Gawain a good knight but the fact that he lived by the law of chivalry made him a great knight. By him living by the law of chivalry this lead to Sir Gawain not loosing his life. If Sir Gaiwain would of broke down and gave into the temptress when he was visiting the lords castle he would of definitely lost his life because the lord of the castle was in fact the green knight. This story was a moral story about if a person lives by the code of chivalry nothing can go wrong.