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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

            Courage in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
             Throughout the medieval period, one's lifestyle was basically determined by their social standing, how you ranked among the next. Pretty much all aspects of life were determined by how you ranked in the social system. In order to move up in ranks, one must show extreme acts of courage and pride. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, there are many instances where the characters were forced to show courage when trying to prove to others that they were in fact superior, and it supports the statement that courage was in fact a huge social value in medieval times.
             In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one thing that stuck out at me that greatly demonstrates courage is when Gawain is at Berselac's house. Every morning, Berselac would go out on a hunting expedition and bring back a different catch. The first day, Berselac brought back a deer. This is significant because during this time period, hunting a deer was a symbol of power because only royalty could hunt them. On the second day, Berselac hunted down a boar. In medieval times, hunting a boar was one of the single most honorable and courageous things that one could do. Furthermore, the act of catching the boar with your bare hands without using a net was considered even more courageous and was used to gain honor and social status. The fact that Berselac went out and caught a boar shows great courage on his part, and obviously that he was a highly ranked person in his society. .
             During this same period when Berselac is out hunting, Gawain receives numerous visits from Berselac's wife. One morning, she surprised Gawain by giving him a green girdle. At first, Gawain was hesitant to accept such a gift but then realized the value of it. It would give him protection when in battle, and guard him from the fatal blow of another, so Gawain knowing he has a difficult road ahead decides to accept the gift.

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