Failure? Failure.


It is what causes most of us to succeed. The idea of failure can lead us to strive more at what we do, yet it can also hinder our abilities and paralyze our motivation. In a way, failure leads to success. Due to the fear of failing, we continue to push ourselves and venture for prosperity. The definition of failure is “the lack of success”, so it comes with no surprise that success and failure correspond with each other. In the poem Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Sir Gawain says that he would rather die than fail. This is a bold statement, considering that he would not necessarily die if he failed. His remark substantially expresses his personality and character, revealing a great deal of virtue and knighthood. By Gawain stating that he would rather die than fail, he is declaring that his reputation and dignity are of greater importance than his life. In terms of knighthood, his act of rather dying than failing displays his selflessness and chivalrous behavior. The average human would rather fail if they knew it meant they would live, yet Gawain states just the opposite. Sir Gawain knows that his failure would destroy the reputation of King Arthur and all the other knights. If he dies, his death would not be considered significant, therefore it is better for him to die rather than cause the loss of King Arthur and the knights’ reputation. Sir Gawain’s willingness to die for the soul reputation of his people exemplifies the righteous and upright conduct of himself and manifests the knightly values of the Middle Ages.


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