Tracing Loyalty Through The Selected Classics Essay — страница 2

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the ships, / [and] tied them down under their rowing benches” (Homer 9:95-103). Odysseus, once again proving his loyalty to his crew members, saved them from Kirke when they were turned into swine. “Put heart in me to eat and drink- you may, / by freeing my companions. I must see them.” (Homer 10:418-419) By refusing food or drink until his men are free the honorable Odysseus upholds his loyalty to his crew. _The Odyssey_ is not the only classic that has the theme of loyalty. _Sir Gawain and the Green Knight_ is believed to be written during the fourteenth century around 1380 A.D. by an unknown author. The theme of Loyalty is found throughout the entire story of _Sir Gawain and the Green Knight_; whether it is through Gawain’s loyalty to his uncle, King Arthur, of through

the tests of loyalty faced by Gawain proposed by Morgan le Fay to Bercilak. Sir Gawain attests his loyalty to King Arthur by accepting the challenge of the Green Knight. “I beseech you, before all here, / That this mele may be mine.” (Gawain 341-342) In order to keep Arthur from losing face in front of his court Gawain accepts the challenge and humbles himself and his peers while doing so. “ When such boon is begged before all these knights, / Though you be tempted thereto, to take it upon yourself/ While so bold men about upon benches sit, /… I am the weakest, well I know. And of wit feeblest;/ And the loss of my life would be least of any;/… And for that this folly befits not a king,” (Gawain 349-358). Because no other knights undertook the confrontation and King

Arthur felt obligated to accept it himself Sir Gawain’s loyalty stepped in and took the challenge. Sir Gawain’s entire journey to the Green Chapel was the idea of Morgan le Fay to test the loyalty of King Arthur’s renowned court. Although Gawain did fail the test of loyalty and honor imposed be Morgan le Fay the thread of loyalty is still apparent. On the third day of the gift giving game Gawain received a green belt for Bercilak’s seductive wife. The only reason Sir Gawain accepted the green sash was because the lady preyed upon his fears about the imminent encounter with the Green Knight. “The man that possess this piece of silk, / If he bore it on his body, belted about, / There is no hand under heaven that could hew him down, / for he could not be killed by any

craft on earth.” (Gawain 1851-1854) Because Gawain accepted the girdle from the lady and did not give it to Bercilak as agreed upon he failed the test. Loyalty is seen throughout both _Sir Gawain and the Green Knight_ and _Don Quixote_. Don Quixote, a story written by Miguel de Cervantes, describes the afflicted madman Don Quixote’s journey that which is permeated with loyalty. Don Quixote pledged his love and loyalty to Dulcinea del Toboso. The knight-errant, Don Quixote de La Mancha, fight two deadly duels to protect Lady Dulcinea’s reputation. “Commending himself with all his heart to his lady Dulcinea, as was his custom before a fray…” (Cervantes 2062). While defending his lady’s honor to the Knight of Mirrors he stands his ground. “And if this does not

suffice to convince you of the truth of what I say, here is Don Quixote himself who will maintain it by force of arms, on foot or on horseback, or in any way you like.” (Cervantes 2040). Don Quixote bade all of the people he has helped to call on Dulcinea del Toboso to profess his great deeds proving his love and loyalty to her. When Don Quixote saw the men marching “strung together by their necks like beads on an iron chain.” (Cervantes 2008) he mistakenly rushes to their aid and proceeds to direct them to the city of El Toboso and his Lady Dulcinea. “He summoned all the prisoners… and addressed them… [with]…it is fitting that those wellborn should give thanks for the benefits they have received… it is my will and desire that you should set out and proceed to the

city of El Toboso and there present yourselves before the lady Dulcinea del Toboso and say to her that her champion… has sent you.” (Cervantes 2014), unfortunately Don Quixote believed, because he was mad that he needed to prove his loyalty to Dulcinea del Toboso, who does not know that a Don Quixote de La Mancha even exists. Another example of loyalty in _Don Quixote_ is that of Sancho Panza to Don Quixote. Sancho Panza is Don Quixote’s ever-faithful squire. Sancho was truly distressed when he believed Don Quixote to be dead. Sancho “flung himself across his master’s body and was weeping and wailing… O honor of your life, honor and glory of all of Lam Mancha and of all of the world, witch, with you absent from it… humble with the proud, haughty with the humble,