Study Help Essay Questions

1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has many paired or parallel characters, settings, or situations. Choose the paired elements that interest you most and look at the comparisons or contrasts the poet makes between them. Are these pairs opposites or mirror images? Why does the poet present them this way?

2. Examine the ideal of knighthood as presented in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In what ways is Gawain an ideal knight and in what ways does he fail to live up to that ideal? In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, does the poet endorse the chivalric ideal or condemn it?

3. Discuss the relationship between Bertilak and the Green Knight. What are the distinguishing characteristics of each character? What are their similarities and differences? Is one of the two the real character, and the other just an act?

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