To understand the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, more fully the reader needs to understand chivalry. Chivalric behavior in the sense of a knight can be defined as having courtesy, being gallant, and honor. The practice of chivalry forms the basis of conduct for the Middle Ages. Two actions in this story show Sir Gawain's chivalry and humanize him. .
When Sir Gawain arrived at a castle, he was introduced to a lord and his lady. The lord welcomed the knight with open arms and said that whatever he hunted, he would give to Sir Gawain at the end of the day, and whatever Sir Gawain got, he had to give to the lord. While the lord was out hunting, his wife started to make a move at Sir Gawain. The first day, she gave him a kiss, so Sir Gawain had to kiss the lord. The second day came two kisses. The final day, the wife gave Sir Gawain a sash and three kisses. However, at the end of the day, Sir Gawain broke his promise to the lord and only gave him three kisses, and no sash.
When Sir Gawain got to the Green Castle, the Green Knight went to strike him over the head and Sir Gawain flinched twice. The third time the Green Knight broke the skin, but surprised Sir Gawain by stating that he knew about his broken promise to the lord. .
Beowolf is a headstrong character in which he rushes in with his mighty strength and kills everything, sometimes even when he killed it already in the case of Grendal. Sir Gawain places chivalry before his might but sometimes that can lead to his downfall. I like the way Sir Gawain acted in this poem because he showed more thought than Beowolf before rushing into a situation.