Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay
One of the principle roles of all the tricksters, as presented in the world of mythologies, is the disruption of personal and social order while having a view of existence itself. All tricksters of the ancient folktales and myths focus on the creation of mayhem that has the target of a transformation for a new social order or even death. In the event that the trickster causes death to enter into the world and the subsequent spoilage of primordial bliss then his quarrel does not lie in the divine order as such. Instead, his disagreement lies with the false sacred image, which cannot encompass the suffering, the disorder as well as the ultimate mess of death. Therefore, it is not so common that the actions of such characters make the path of the death of humans. As such, the trickster is an exemplar of wit in their actions. The Green Knight is one of the characters who plays just plays such a purpose in the story. This work will, therefore, discuss the extent to which the Green Knight typifies the trickster’s characteristics, and why it is important to the audience or text as a whole.
The green color that the Green Knight chose is a representation of misfortune, witchcraft, an association with faeries as well as the spirits and a representation of devilry according to ancient English tales. The color could still be a representation of fertility, nature and rebirth such as that of the vegetation according to some other traditions. Therefore, the Green Knight is a representation of both life and death. As such, there is no simple method of collapsing the archetypes of the trickster into a category because his intention is mostly to cause dualities, which creates a new union of opposites. The green knight could, therefore, be a representation of resurrection through his resurrection; the ability to resist decapitation (Rowley 159).
The Green Knight could still be considered as being both an agent of death and terror and the benevolent king Bertilak. In such a contradictory imagery, there is the vision of the paradoxical state of reality itself. Such could be the doubleness of the nature of reality for every stage of life. The characters appear to be both sacred and mundane, evil and good. For instance, the same green color is a representation of the holy ghost according to the ecclesiastical symbolism’s while, at the same time, such a color is a universal image of divinity. We could still say that the Green Knight is both the comforting God and the trickster-devil (Rowley 164). It would appear as though there are both the aspects of Christianity and paganism in the story through the character of the Green Knight. Another perspective is that the Green Knight is an indication of both evil and good working together to attain a greater purpose. Maybe such an existence has something to do with situations in the historical context such as the Black Death outbreak, the internecine wars, and the peasant’s revolt. One could also be forgiven for creating a thought that the author was attempting to reassure the readers of the often quoted maxim that says that what cannot kill us will only make us stronger.
Rowley, Sharon M. “Textual Studies, Feminism, and Performance in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. “The Chaucer Review 38.2 (2003): 158-177.