Sir Gawain

One of the Great Knights of the Round Table

Sir Gawain

Sir Gawain is one of the most well-known knights in King Arthur's Round Table. He has stories about fighting dragons, other knights, falling in love, and searching for the Holy Grail. His story is intertwined with Arthur's because of his family ties and his role as one of the more courageous men in the court.

The Family Ties of Sir Gawain

Sir Gawain is known as one of the greatest knights of the round table in Camelot. He appeared very early in the Arthurian Legends, and can be found as far back as ancient Welsch texts. His importance in the legends is aided by his relationship to King Arthur. Arthur is his uncle, which makes Morgan La Fey his mother, and thus his brother is Mordred (the knight who will kill King Arthur). Because of his place of power within the family, "according to some legends, he would have been the true and rightful heir to the throne of Camelot" (Benson C. David).

The Rise of Sir Gawain

There are two versions of the birth of Sir Gawain. He is said to be born of Morgan (Arthur's sister) and a British King named Lot. Some versions of the story say that he was born legitimately, while others say that Morgan had an affair with Lot and had to hide her child.


His character has also been portrayed in different ways throughout the years. In earlier texts, "he was regarded, particularly in early romances, as the model of chivalry-pure, brave, and courteous" (columbiaencyclopedia.com). But as the French writers began to look at the Arthurian Legends, he was often "portrayed as a womanizer and a ruthless knight" (timelessmyths.com).

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

This story addresses the role of truth and courage in Arthurian Legend. The poem was written in Middle English during the 14th century. The main theme of the story is the idea of chivalry and how a knight should behave. The main character, Sir Gawain, shows courage but also fails to be honest throughout the entire story. By learning about what it means to be a true knight, Sir Gawain is shown that both honesty and courage are important.

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