The Big Sleep

1049 words 5 pages
In the books The Big Sleep and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both authors, Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) and Simon Armitage (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), create the protagonist of each story into archetypal knights. The protagonist of The Big Sleep is named Phillip Marlowe and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the protagonist is named Sir Gawain. The 3 knightly qualities that we will be focusing on in this essay are self-sacrifice, loyalty and courage. These qualities are displayed throughout each story in different and similar ways throughout each book.

In The Big Sleep, Phillip Marlowe displays self-sacrifice a few times throughout the book. Phillip Marlowe displays an act of self-sacrifice on page 129 and he says, “The
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The gun jumped out of his hand as if it had been kicked. He reached both his hands for his stomach.” This notion of killing Lance Canino is tremendously courageous as he had the opportunity to run and save his life but instead, he fought him and killed him. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain displays an ongoing act of courage during the whole novel. The whole journey that Sir Gawain performs is courageous as he is risking his life at the age of 16 only. As well, Sir Gawain is courageous because on page 98 the lord says to Sir Gawain
-So banish that bogeyman to the back of your mind, and for God’s sake travel an alternative track, ride another road, and be rescued by Christ. I’ll head off home, and with hand on heart I shall swear by God and all his good saints, and on all earthy holiness, and other such oaths, that your secret is safe, and not a soul will know that you fled in fear from the fellow I described.
Gawain is courageous to continue on his path to the green chapel after the lord told him this speech on how treacherous the Green Knight is. As well, Sir Gawain was frightened by the Green Knight (Antagonist) but he overcomes this fear. Gawain shows tremendous amounts of courage when he accepts death for his fate. Gawain does this when he says on page 114, -Through this I suffered a scar to my skin – for my loss of faith I was


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