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ENGLISH
Asked by Waynnette

Compare and contrast Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Knight's tale what are the qualities of an ideal knight do they different and all ?use textual evidence from both texts?

SGATGK presents the ideal knight as one who is courteous, true and willing to undergo trials and tribulations should they be necessary by, for example, oath or pride. Gawain progresses in his knightliness as the tale unfolds, while the round table stays bound to its own flawed ideals. This is most obviously seen in the tales conclusion, where Gawain, who wears the girdle as a sign of his failure, inspires the court to make the girdle a part of their knightly attire - thinking it a symbol of knightliness and not cowardice. Bertilak’s pact with Gawain, then, functions as he states, it was a test to determine how true Gawain would be. Gawain passes this test through his honesty in face of the lady’s attempted seduction and his rejection of the same, even if he stumbles in his acceptance of the girdle. By contrast, the Knight’s Tale is more geared towards mocking these courtly traditions, with the dominant idea of Fortune’s Wheel (that which turns the great poor and poor great) essentially nullifying the purpose of striving for greatness, or knightliness, if it can be swept away in an instant. Instead, TKT preaches the acceptance of these turns of fortune, it’s conclusion sees sorrow turned to happiness for the surging couple after they accept that which has happened and strive to live happily in spite of it.

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Ben Maguire
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