The Green Knight

If there are two words to describe the Green Knight, they would be wise and quirky. He certainly has the wisdom to effectively test King Arthur's court, however he uses an odd method, deeming him quirky. As a wise man, he is able to recognize when a man is worthy of honor. For example, he sees honor in Sir Gawain, despite him lying on the third day of his stay at the hunting lodge when he did not disclose about taking the green sash. Some may think that valuing one's life over honesty is cowardly, but the Green Knight knows that it is not only reasonable to value one's life, but expected. Plus, Sir Gawain eventually admitted to taking the sash, restoring his integrity. Lastly, the Green Knight recognizes how Sir Gawain was able to resist the temptations that the Lady brought. He is wise enough to know that this action should not be over shadowed by one small lie. But even though the Green Knight is wise, that does not mean he is not an odd person. Practically threatening to kill King Arthur's nephew seems like an odd way to test whether or not his court was any good. He was also oddly disrespectful towards the king, but was quite kind to Sir Gawain, sparing his life and attempting to ease his guilt. The Green Knight could have taken a less extreme approach to his test. However, this would not make for an interesting story, would it? Over-all, the Green Knight is a cool guy. Despite his quirks, he is kind, honorable and forgiving by the end of the story. He is the kind of man I would have a beer with, once I am of age, of course.

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Now, this may seem like a joke, and it kind of is, but hear me out. By the end of the story, the Green Knight’s true personality can be attributed to that of the Jolly Green Giant. They’re both jubilant and gentle. They both have good intentions of helping the greater good. The Green Knight does this by seeing if the current king’s court is worthy of ruling the land. The Green Giant does this by providing vegetables to the world and helping everyone eat healthier. And the Green Knight and the Green Giant are large, green men.

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As I have mentioned, Sir Gawain confesses to the Green Knight about taking the green sash. From this moment on, the Green Knight becomes the confession priest. He provides forgiveness to Sir Gawain and relieves him of his sin. Oddly enough though, when the Green Knight gives the sash to Sir Gawain as a gift, Gawain sees it as an item to remind him of the wrongs he has done, not as a present. Honestly, it’s unnecessarily melodramatic.

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I know the Vikings did not have horns on their helmets and that Prof. Tracy might have my head for this, but I wanted to make it blatantly obvious that I am referring to the Vikings. That aside, I see the Green Knight as a sort of representation of the Vikings of the Anglo-Saxon period. He is bold, hearty, and cares greatly about the honor of a warrior. This last point can be seen when the Green Knight demands to know who Sir Gawain actually is. The initial impression he made was that he was unimportant. Having this sort of man chop off your head would not fly with the Vikings. So, the Green Knight asks for his true identity to make sure he is worthy to take up the challenge of the game. He also shows respect when Sir Gawain arrives at the Green Chapel on time and ready to fill his end of the bargain. As far as I can tell, a Viking would find it honorable for a man keep his word, even if it means death.

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“You may be assured by this branch I carry that I approach you in peace, seeking no battle. For had I traveled in fighting dress, in warlike manner, I have a hauberk at home and a helmet, too, a shield and a keen spear, shining bright, and other weapons to brandish, I assure you, as well;” (265-270)

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“Then the knight in green addresses Gawain, ‘Let us repeat our agreement before going further. First I entreat you, sir, that what is your name you shall tell me truly, that I may believe you.’” (377-380)

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“’Gawain,’ said the green man, ‘may God protect you! You are indeed welcome, sir, to my place; You have timed your journey as a true man should, and you know the agreement settled between us:’” (2239-2242)

The Werewolf

Of the texts we’ve read so far, I would be confident to say that Bisclavret is one of the most likeable characters we have seen. He’s a werewolf, which is seen as cool in modern society. He shows loyalty to his lord even after becoming a beast. He gets revenge on his former wife, which I am sure many would like to do. He easily could have been portrayed as an unrealistic character by doing things like having no problem with his ex’s betrayal, or going on a murderous rampage after being cheated on. But instead, he keeps his composure and has a fairly natural reaction towards his ex. Was it a bit brutal of him to bite off her nose? Yes, but he easily could’ve killed her instead or even downright forgive her for ruining his former life. But he takes a sort of high ground while still having the emotions that many would have in his situation. It is also admirable that he is still so kind to his lord and comrades even after becoming a werewolf. It’s as if only his body has changed and not his mind. He doesn’t betray his kingdom by killing people or wreaking havoc. He stays peacefully in the woods until he is found. It is very honorable to still respect your duties after your life has been turned upside down. And possibly most importantly, he is a relatable character. He is angry at his cheating wife, like most would be. He still holds loyalty to his superiors and friends, as most would. He hangs onto his humanity, as most would. We as the reader could quite easily put ourselves into his position unlike characters such as Beowulf or Sir Gawain. Because of this, he is instantly likable.

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Seagulls sing in the sky above
Waves creep on the sand and tickle my toes
As if the ocean wants me to forget my woes
And focus on the sensations I love

This is the land that dreamers speak of
The land where lovely scents reach your nose
And the stressful time distorts and slows
In a world where life can give you a painful shove

But that painful life and your times of strife
Can fade away as you watch the palm trees sway
And you are enthralled by the sea’s wildlife

So forget your wife who turns your hair gray
And don’t delay in reclaiming your love of life
For the waters sprawled before you are your getaway

Tall and rugged, it is quite a sight
The places where the Earth folds up
To some it can be a terrible fright
But some are excited by it like a little pup

Some want to conquer the treacherous cliffs
Some want to find spiritual peace
Some want to steal Nature’s gifts
Some want to soar like geese

They are one of the Earth’s amazing feats
Representing the power of land
Even being called the mighty titans’ seat
There is no doubting its amazing command

Do they bring us closer to the holy land above?
Or is that a delusion they speak of?

What is this land where the trees are pink
And the skies are always blue?
There are no animals, not even a mink
And there is no food to eat, not even stew

But I do not feel hungry or ill
Nor do the people around me
But this seems to give me a chill
Because I feel that soon there will be nobody

But I still feel happy despite this
It seems like nobody can feel sad
We only seem to feel bliss
Could this really be so bad?

But that seagull I saw the other day
Is still laughing at the gateway

Doctor Faustus

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Option 1: Don’t Sign the Contract
Sure, it seems pretty obvious that nobody should sell their soul to the devil, but Faustus obviously didn’t know exactly how dangerous this is. Now, I’m not an expert on every piece of literature that was written before Faustus’s time, so maybe there are no other stories that teach you not to sign away your soul. But as a scholar, he really should know this. As far as we can tell as the reader, there is no way to go back on his promise of giving away his soul. He does try to repent and have others pray for him, but why would he think that would work? He willingly signed a binding contract. There is no way out of this, and that is the nature of this contract. He should not have let greed get the better of him and should have stuck to the normal life he was already living.

Option 2: Learn Magic Yourself
The original reason Faustus wanted to control a demon was in order to gain magical power. But as we saw from Wagner, it is possible to learn magic on your own. Since Faustus is already a scholar, he should be able to read tomes and spell books without much issue. So, he could have taught himself magic without selling away his soul. Now, he might have still gone to Hell for practicing witchcraft, but it was not guaranteed like there is in the contract. Basically speaking, he shouldn’t have been lazy.

Option 3: Use These Powers for Good
Now, let’s assume that repenting could have saved Faustus from going to Hell. Because of all the pranks he pulled and all of the money he wished for himself, his soul is being damned anyways. So, not only did he sell his soul, he sins for 24 years, too. Because of this, his soul is becoming corrupted and it is becoming harder and harder to repent for all of the things he has done. But, if Faustus had used his new powers for good, then maybe he could have been saved. If he conjured food for the needy, or created peace between empires, or donated to the Church, then he would get on God’s nice side. And with this, God could have saved him from burning for eternity. But because of the mischief Faustus caused, God does not care to save him.


Code of Conduct
1. Always keep a serious attitude.
2. Do not show fear, even in dire situations.
3. Complete any task given to you, no matter how difficult.
4. Do not trust a woman who does not value her chastity.
5. Protect women from harm.
6. Always defend your honor, especially against fellow knights.
7. Follow good fighting practice (no cheap tricks).
8. If you are a guest, follow the house’s rules.
9. Trust and value your allies.
10. Be so dense that you cannot see that Fidessa is actually Duessa.

Letter to Una
To my former companion,
What you did tonight was unacceptable. You are meant to a woman of God. With this, you cannot simply lay with any man that strikes your fancy. Because of this, I must leave you here in the care of the kind hermit and my dwarf servant. May they guide you back into the light. I plan to continue my travels alone, so do not look for me. I thank you for helping me fight Error, but what I have seen tonight is too much to bear.
Yours Truly,
The Redcrosse Knight

(Sideways) Image of Error
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