Both these episodes show Gawain's true devotion to his Lord and code of knighthood. In the early stories, Sir Gawain is often considered to be the noblest knight of all. In later stories, like Morte D'Arthur by Sir Mallory for instance, he often loses the first place of Sir Lancelot. However, Sir Gawain can still be considered the noblest knight since Sir Lancelot after all does have an affair with Arthur's wife, and even though chivalrous code does not tie love and marriage together, it still does not look good on his resume. Sir Gawain, on the other hand, is always follows the code, and tries hard to serve his lord to the best of his abilities.
Sir Gawain, forced to examine his own character, realizes what it means to have a desire to be humble and faithful, leading to a change in his character. When approached by the Green Knight, Sir Gawain encounters a stretch in character. The Green Knight, not invited to King Arthur’s party, made an entrance the court would never forget. They were, “celebrating in style: not a care in the world.” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 2006, p.4) His arrival not only caused a shock to the King and his court, but he advised a challenge to the knight who would accept it. Sir Gawain was the only knight who took the life threatening challenge.
He displays his devotion in nobility and is defended many others by his acts of humility. Sir Gawain successfully accomplished in his responsibility in being an ideal knight by showing his true courage. It is hard to say anyone has ever been a completely "ideal" knight or even any person rather, no one is perfect, but he definitely encompasses many of the attributes ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd game playing. Sir Gawain and the temptress results in him losing his moral innocence, consequently he then expresses that he failed himself personally and in his knighthood. He stops viewing himself as a great chivalric knight.
And also a point of pride pricked him in heart." These are not the qualities of a wise king, but rather describe a rash young man. When the Green Knight rides into his court, neither Arthur nor his knights make an attempt to stop him. Arthur does, however, step forward when the Green Knight asks who the captain of the crowd is. He accepts the Green Knight's challenge nobly, yet he also doesn't protest when Sir Gawain offers to take the blow for him.
In his struggles to uphold his chivalric duties, Sir Gawain faithfully demonstrates the qualities of chivalry and fidelity until his honor is called into question by an unknown green knight that rides into the castle. Sir Gawain is King Arthur’s nephew and one of his most faithful knights. Although Gawain modestly refutes it, he has a reputation of being an honorable knight and courtly man. He prides himself on his adherence of the five parts of chivalry and is a pinnacle display of humility, piety, integrity, loyalty, and honesty that all other knights strive for. Though Gawain sits at the high table during the New Year’s celebration at Arthur’s court, he defines himself as the least of King Arthur’s knights in terms of both physical ability and mental aptitude.
The first test to his courage, courtesy, humility and loyalty toward his king, Arthur, occurs when the Green Knight suddenly appears at Camelot’s New Year's feast. He offers the Round Table a challenge: the game is for a man to strike him with his axe, and twelve months and a day later, the Green Knight will return the blow. When Arthur accepts the challenge, Gawain interferes and asks Arthur with humility and courtesy to “grant him the grace to stand by him” (SGGK l. 343-344). He confesses that “he is the weakest, and of wit feeblest, and the loss of his life would not be a great tragedy at all because his body, but for Arthur’s blood, is not worth much" (SGGK l. 354-357). He asks to be granted the privilege to claim the Green Knight's challenge because it does not befit a king.
In Gawain and in all the knights thoughts, if the King’s words were not followed, they were not worthy of having the privilege of being a knight. Knights had to be chivalrous, brave, gallants, intelligent, risky and all it took to keep the honesty and respect with their King. This shows how much respect and power King Arthur had. When a king is not respected or powerful, there were no such thing as loyal knights willing to fight and be killed for their king. By all these factors we can conclude that King Arthur was very powerful and was very respected by all his people and in particular by the Knight Sir Gawain.
Sir Gawain initially was a man who had a strong reputation of being the most chivalrous and gallant knight in all of the British Kingdom. With this reputation, Sir Gawain could never relax and had to always elevate himself to hold that reputation, even if it seemed impossible. During the Green Knight 's test, Sir Gawain maintained his chivalry and his reputation for the most part, but with everything getting thrown at him and Sir Gawain reaching a peak pressure point, he breaks the code of chivalry that brings out he is in fact human and will not be perfect. Sir Gawain from the Green Knight 's test essentially showed that he is in fact a chivalrous and gallant knight, but he is still flesh and blood prone to mistakes just like any other human
He is not brave, selfless, chivalrous, or noble; with an immoral thought he only performs great acts in front of an audience. Knights are supposed to be fearless warriors, Gawain contradicts that stereotype. Once Gawain ventures towards the green chapel, he is overcome by fear. However, fear of death is not of the essence. When his escort offers to help him avoid the fight, Gawain had already obtained the green sash; he fights knowing he will not die.
The confidence possessed by the Green Knight in riding thus into Arthur's court, is later shown to be due to the enchantment put on him by Morgan Le Faye. The Green Knight's confidence and his challenges to the court create a caricature of the bravery of knighthood and excessive pride is indeed the excess that this cautionary tale warns against. Sir Gawain meets the challenge but his actions show that even the bravest knight must not be too proud or sure of himself. The Green Knight's Challenge! The scene begins with the continuing description of the Green Knight as one who had come with "no helm, nor hauberk neither."