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Word Count: 1,347
Back in early literature there were two great epic poems that became the fundamental format for future works These two poems are called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf Even though we do not know the original authors of the works we do know that these two stories were passed from one generation to the next for hundreds of years before they were finally written down on paper They represented many social qualities such as the battle between good and evil courage mental and physical strength heroism and honor The eighth century when Beowulf was written truly depicts literature at this time of chivalry of a knight to the fullest However Sir Gawain written in the 14 century depicts the literature at that time when knights were not upholding chivalry To understand the poems more fully modern readers need to understand the complexity of chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Chivalric behavior in the sense of a knight can be defined as having courtesy gallantry and honor The practice of chivalry forms the basis of gentlemanly conduct for the Middle Ages Sir Gawain written in the 14th century definitely does not practice perfect chivalric conduct throughout the poem At Camelot in the first part of the poem chivalry appears as a social code defining the aristocracy When the Green Knights demands a challenge not one member of King Arthurs court steps up Only until King Arthur says that he will do it does Sir Gawain step up He accepts the challenge as King Arthurs nephew a representative of the court His actions uphold the reputation that the court has established Sir Gawain made the promise to the Green Knight that he would return to the Green Castle in one year for the Green Knight to return the challenge In the second part of the poem a change of mood is presented also with a new view of the hero Sir
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