Sir Gawain takes up the deed of playing a Christmas game with the challenging Green Knight. The Green Knight takes a blow from an ax at the hand of Sir Gawain, and in one year and one day, the Green Knight is to reciprocate the action to Sir Gawain. While Sir Gawain was heroic in his deed, Beowulf shows a certain selflessness in his bouts makes him a better hero than Sir Gawain. Sir Gawain was heroic in seeking out the Green Knight to finish the challenge that was brought to King Arthur’s men. “Said Gawain, ‘Strike once more; /I shall neither flinch nor flee; /But if my head falls to the floor /There is no mending me!’” (lns.
He is the only knight that steps forward to save Arthur's honor and life in the stories of The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In the story of Dame Ragnell, Sir Gawain does not hesitate to agree to marry Dame Ragnell, the foulest woman alive, to save King Arthur even though Arthur does not ask Gawain explicitly. Gawain feels honored that he is able to help his lord in the moment of trouble. In the second story, even though Gawain is the youngest knight he steps out when all other knights are frozen and Arthur is embarassed before the Green Knight. Both these episodes show Gawain's true devotion to his Lord and code of knighthood.
The Green Knight establishes the game so that “the terms of the contest are crystal clear” (394). Sir Gawain will strike the Green Knight on the neck with his sword and in a year the Green Knight will return the blow. Sir Gawain delivers the blow and the Green Knight simply places his severed head back on his neck. Sir Gawain now must spend the year seeking out the knight’s Green Chapel in order to fulfill the terms of the agreement (421-457). The scholar David Beauregard, gives insight into why the Green Knight is worthy to test the character of Sir Gawain.
7th. D. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 1177-1191. Print.
Beowulf travels to a distant land in order to save the people of the Heorot. Sir Gawain, after accepting the Green Knight´s challenge, follows through and comes to the realization that he is a true knight. Lucy overcomes her acrimony in order to make sure her brother is saved. Each distant characteristic makes all these characters
Sir Gawain appears, as a real hero and a noble knight, almost from the very beginning of the poem when he is accepting the challenge of the Green Knight. No one is brave enough to accept the beheading game proposed by the Green Knight, and if no one of the knights will accept the challenge, then king Arthur has to accept it, so that he and his knights will not be regarded as cowards. Sir Gawain, as a noble knight who truly serves his king, takes the challenge upon himself when he says to the Arthur, " Would you grant me the grace"
King Arthur ultimately accepts the request, but his nephew Sir Gawain, a great and chivalrous knight who is known to hold these qualities, willingly takes his uncle 's place. Sir Gawain stated “I have a request for you, my lord, let this adventure be mine” (4). This quote shows Sir Gawain maintaining those high expectations of being the perfect knight, risking his life in place of his lord. Once Sir Gawain delivers the blow decapitating the Green Knight 's head, the Green Knight 's body picks up his head and speaks to Sir Gawain telling him where to go to receive the returning blow a year and a day later. This also indicates that the Green Knight is supernatural able to still be alive after receiving such a brutal blow.
(Gawain; lines 284-285) The game’s rules were that King Arthur should get the Green Knight’s axe to cut him and then a year and one day from the New Year’s Ball, the Green Knight would come back and do the same thing to King Arthur. (Gawain; line 290) The King’s reaction was shocking, however he accepted to this ridiculous game. When th... ... middle of paper ... ... line 2365) King Arthur’s actions whether good or bad are supported by his loyal followers and brave knights. The theme of power is evident because even when Sir Gawain can try to escape from his own death, he decides not to in order to keep his King proud. 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.