Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a well-known poem which represents for the Middle English period of time.
The main characters in the poem are King Arthur, Sir Gawain, the Green Knight, Bertilak, Bertilak’s wife and Morgan Le Faye. However, the most highlighted and central character as known as the protagonist of the famous poem is Sir Gawain.First and foremost, Sir Gawain is King Arthur’s nephew, and he is best known as one of the bravest and most loyal knights of the King. He is loved, respected and praised by Camelot’s people because of being qualified the five points of Chivalry; he has prowess, loyalty, generosity, franchise, and courtesy. For an example, at the New Year celebration, when the Green Knight appears unexpectedly at the roundtable and challenge the knights to strike him with his ax, Sir Gawain steps up and undertakes the challenge to protect King Arthur and the Camelot. Even though when he realizes that the Green Knight conceals his real superpower, Gawain still stays and keeps his words instead of stepping out of the deal. Gawain is a flawless hero, but he does have his own fears; however, he allows himself to conquer the fears in the quest of finding the Green Knight. On the other hand, his weakness is he loves his life more than everything.
To be specific, he loves his life so much that he can lie to Bertilak and hide the magical green girdle that Bertilak’s wife gives him. He fails the test of honesty because being afraid of death. He puts his life above his honesty. Ultimately, at the Green Chapel, when Gawain figures out that he was tested with his honesty, he immediately confesses his sin with the knight and voluntarily wears the green girdle as a reminder for his shame, sin, and weakness.
To conclude, Sir Gawain, who is introduced as a loyal, brave, noble knight of the King at the beginning of the text become weak and coward because of his fear of death. He is a flawless character that is willing to fight to protect the King, but at the end, he loses his belief and puts his faith and life in a green girdle. From there, we learn a precious lesson about human strength and weakness. At the moment that you lose your belief and confidence and put your fears beyond everything, you lose yourself; you lose everything.