The Poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”

Pages: 1
Words: 356

Nobility, Elegance and Mystery Around the “Emerald Color”

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is a unique, inimitable work in its structure and content, illustrating a special message and interpretation of color from the point of view of symbolism, hints, and mysterious signs. Thus, the green color in the novel illustrates life, the flowering, the beginning of something new, as well as youth and ardor. Nonetheless, it also means nature, especially the human essence: changeable, unstable, and unpredictable. Furthermore, “grass color” may symbolize the surrounding environment’s power, fearlessness, and wildness and is opposed to refinement and courtliness. As a rule, ideas about green phenomena are associated with a fairy tale, a magical valley inhabited by such mysterious creatures as fairies, elves, dryads, goblins, and many others.

The Close, Inextricable Connection of The Green Color with the Antagonist’s Personality

Based on the above thoughts, it should be concluded that the Green Knight and the green color are not randomly selected. Hence, the character and a specific color are interconnected and mutually conditioned by each other. In the text, a reader sees the green man with green hair and a green face, who “took a great horse, and a green shield, and a green spear” (Howes & Borroff, 2021). In this case, a person has the right to suspect that there was not without magic and sorcery. Anyway, someone sees in him the embodiment of the forces of evil and calls him the devil, and someone looks out for good elements in his image, calling this hero the personification of St. Patrick. Unfortunately, to date, the real essence of the Knight is not completely clear.

On the other hand, the Green Knight is the child of nature, the personification of the elemental force of the environment, and the power of the biological, physical embodiment of the “parts of the world.” There is a high probability that this is the case since the associations with green are easy to understand. One can suppose that the image of the Knight is similar to the images of non-human beings living in the forest, created based on the synthesis of Celtic myths.


Howes, L.L. & Borroff, M. (2021). Sir Gawain and the green knight (Norton critical editions) (2nd ed.). W. W. Norton & Company.