Feeling as if the honor of Camelot is being threatened, King Arthur accepts the challenge. However, Sir Gawain intercepts the challenge before Arthur can formally accept. Gawain welcomes the contest and chops off the head of the Green Knight who dryly smirks and picks up the severed body part. He then reminds Gawain of his promise: to accept a return blow a year and day from the first. The Green Knight rides off with his severed head in his hand, and the hall rejoices from the display of Gawain's bravery.
Passage Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In this passage, we find ourselves in King Arthur's court during a Christmas feast. A Green Knight has just proposed a challenge before the court, a game in which a blow for a blow shall be given. Seeing that no one is willing to accept this challenge, King Arthur himself steps up to the Green Knight, ready to defend his honor. Sir Gawain, being a noble knight, asks the court if he can replace King Arthur in the game. His wish is granted.
Gawain knows that he is not the strongest, smartest knight but the loss of his life would not be as bad as if King Arthur loses his life. King Arthur agrees to let him enter this game and gives him a weapon to use against this Green Knight. King Arthur says to Sir Gawain, "Keep, cousin what you cut with this day, and if you rule it aright, then readily, I know you shall stand the stroke it will strike after." (372-374) Gawain, with his weapon in his hand, is now ready to take part in the game. Before the contest starts, the Green Knight goes over the rules of the game again.
In, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight challenges King Arthur’s court to the beheading game, and no one accepts the game. As a reaction King Arthur accepts the challenge. Sir Gawain then asks the king if he can take the challenge because he is expendable and if he dies, the kingdom will still have their king. He takes his swing, cutting off the Green Knight’s head. To much surprise, the Green Knight picks up his head, tells Sir Gawain where to find him, and rides off.
Sir Gawain steps in his place and accepts the challenge. The Green Knight purposed that he can have one blow, but the Green Knight would return the favor in the year to come. Gawain used his one blow, and chopped off The Green Knight’s head. To their surprise, The Green Knight picked up his head, and spoke. “For that scalp and skull now swung from his fist; to the noblest at the table he turned to face and it opened its eyelids, stared straight ahead and spoke this speech,-“(Sir Gawain and The Green Knight ln.444-447).
(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.
If Sir Gawain chops off the Green Knight's head, one would think that the Green Knight would die. So why does the Green Knight ask to meet Sir Gawain in a year and a day to return the strike? The answer to this question shows the Green Knight's supernatural powers because he knows that he is not going to die because of the strike. The Green Knight appears to have a hidden agenda, which will be revealed at the end of the story. As a reward for the knight who is brave enough to participate in the game, the Green Knight gives him his ax to keep and use for the game.
He is successful, as the king promises to take the game, although he does not know what it is yet. The Green Knight comes into the hall where King Arthur and his knights feast on a horse, and does not greet anyone. He carries a huge axe with "The Spike of green steel" (Norton 207) and with green engravings. He carries no armor and no other weapons. When he enters, not only he does not greet the people present, but he looks down rudely at them and asks: "Where is the captain of this crowd?
This is when the hero of the story is drawn into some type of journey, challenge, or adventure. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this step occurs after the Green Knight enters the castle and requests a challenge, and no one but King Arthur will accept it. Then, Sir Gawain says, "I beseech you uncle, to grant me a kindness. Let this contest be mine. Gentle lord, give me permission to leave this table and stand in your place there" (Ponsor 127).
When the Green Knight arrogantly rode into King Arthur's domain, he showed no respect for the celebrated knights. He rudely laughed away the praise he had heard of King Arthur as "the praise of you, prince, is puffed up so high" (Norton Anthology 1465). He also ridiculed the knights as they hesitated to accept his challenge. Gawain eventually accepted the challenge, but didn't fully understand what the test would actually be. In what was probably a rage of protecting King Arthur's honor, Sir Gawain chopped off the Green Knight's head and began the game.