Sir Gawain’s portrayal is formed around effectively settled originations of Arthurian knights, chivalric codes and the high court social classes of the time, with basic Christian topics of religious duties and praise, motivation or inspirations, and repentance advancing Gawain’s embodiment of a Christian saint. The Green Knight, Lord Bertilak, the true identity of the character, is given a mysterious presence and otherworldly characteristics, yet stays human to scrutinize the falseness and misleading Christian image developed in Gawain. The reflected picture of Paganism is present to challenge the developing strength of Christian beliefs ,by Sir Gawain, both geographically and literarily, making an antising religious dynamic that prompts questioning of truth. At the time the admired Christ like figure was King Arthur. However, Arthur’s part in the poem becomes minimal and is just in the initial segment of the piece. Sir Gawain, being the main character and name is in the title of the poem, has clearly taken over the honorable significance and center King Arthur is normally entitled with, along these lines having the Christian motives related with Arthur contributes to Gawain’s character.
These are values of which he must maintain faithfully or face the consequences of failing to maintain the picture they desire to keep up. Going up against the Green Knight’s offer let’s Arthur remain in his castle. Gawain goes forward as the Christ like knight he is, starting his journey with the Pagan representation, the Green Knight, to a start.William F. Woods, of Wichita State University, discussed that “the great green horse and rider who invade Arthur’s haven of polite cheer are icons of a outside world and a journey inward” (209).
The green symbols of a different world, the normal world, compare similarly with the Pagan beliefs, for all Pagan gods dwell in The Great Horned God, ruler of the forests, and creatures. He is the all-cultured Green Man and Pan, the Green force of the forests in Greek mythology. Author Gary R. Varner composed the book Mythic Forest, the Green Man and the Spirit of Nature to investigate these different investigations of the shapeless Green Man figure. His exploration demonstrates the numerous descriptions to be found in various mythologies, and wrote an entire chapter devoted to the topic of the Pagan Green Man (124). Varner says that a large portion of the physical attributions of the Green Man were framed by Pagan myths, further proving the Green Knight’s case as a Pagan image and opposing belief to the Christian Gawain.
Gawain’s Christian character is all in the points of his heroic armor, the pentangle shield, that fuses everything an appropriate and great confident knight should possess. Gawain’s shield gets lots of light in the poem,and is depicted thoroughly (619-69), containing subjects of nobility, chivalry and faith. The essential nature of Gawain’s shield, in connection to his personality, in the trip and his own self-esteem, is genuine to the characters of the poem since Gawain’s real actions contradict the shield. The shield just serves to spread Gawain’s assumed ethics (656), creating a clear description of what the shield does not represent (626), which opens a, potentially Pagan, negative feedback of Christianity, or a blend of all the ethical, religious and social opinion.
In a similar note, the Green Knight commands attention and respect through his grand out of this world appearance and great green aura , both in stature and presence. Being “half a giant on earth” and “no less than the largest of men,” his huge and strange proportions are complemented by the strong mixture of colorful imagery, “for man and gear and all / Were green as green could be” (130-50). His body is dressed with a “coat cut close …Of furs cut and fitted,” without a doubt “the fabric is noble,” leading to the interpretation of a religious or ordained nature (152-4). The numerous furs and consistent appearance of green all throughout the description of the Green Knight places a high accentuation on uncertainties of the Knight’s roots, literally, culturally and even spiritually, as court individuals and readers alike attempt to figure out the author’s purpose. Traditional Pagan beliefs pertaining to the character appear to fit the description, if this is the interpretation, and clearly explain the reasons for everything green and extraordinary about him.
One final piece of evidence can be found in the encounter between Sir Gawain, the Green Knight and Lord Bertilak. The religion dynamic has a key feature in the encounter between the representative religious opposing figures. The first being the Green Knight’s proposition to Arthur for”as stoutly to strike one stroke for another,” which is an enormous suggestion of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ the foundational key rule of Christianity, Luke 6:31.
Neglecting to interpret and see a noteworthy piece of his religion, albeit keenly expository as it might be, Gawain again brings down his credibility as a genuine Christian, but it adds the question of who the Green Knight truly is and Pearl Poet’s intentions for this interaction.The Knight may not exactly be a perfect picture of Paganism but rather has undoubtedly similar qualities to a Pagan minister, despite the reader’s interpretation being intentionally that or not by the author. In any case, Pearl Poet enjoyed their security from honorable Christian punishment and presence of Pagan relationship knowing without it, a quick reprimand could be demanded for testing the key ideology of the area and time. The depiction and embodiment of Christian topics in Sir Gawain, instead of the explicit scorn of the English King through Arthur’s character, likewise appears to have been pondered on by the Poet’s part in order to stay away from danger of punishment..
The Pearl Poet daringly raises doubt about the misleading devotion among Christians, while inquisitively supplanting echoes of ages of past traditions.