However, before Arthur can strike the blow, Sir Gawain speaks up, asking if he can replace the King in this game because he does not think the King should take the responsibility upon himself. The court agrees to let Gawain take the challenge, and the King blesses him. Gawain goes to the Green Knight, who asks his name and then accepts him as the challenger. Gawain asks the Knight where he will find him in a year, and the Knight tells him that he will learn after he takes his strike. The Green Knight bows his head, baring his neck for the blow, and Gawain swings the ax and chops off the Knight's head.
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.
However, the real test of the Green Knight isn't about strength or swordsmanship. It's a test of character. During Christmas at Camelot, the celebration is interrupted by the entrance of the Green Knight. He offers (or demands) a contest: an exchange of axe-strokes. Feeling as if the honor of Camelot is being threatened, King Arthur accepts the challenge.
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.
The knight raises the ax to hit Gawain, but Gawain flinches before it hits him. The knight calls Gawain a coward. This infuriates Gawain, and he swears that he will take the blow standing and not flinch again. He states, "But go on, man, in God's name, and get to the point! Deliver me my destiny, and do it out of hand, for I shall stand to the stroke and stir not an inch till your ax has hit home--on my honor, I swear it!"
The game the Green Knight wishes to play would bring any player to their deaths. Because of this, Sir Gawain accepts the challenge instead of King Arthur. If King Arthur was killed, there would be no one to rule his kingdom. This kind of bravery was highly regarded for knights and expected of them. After Sir Gawain took his swing against the Green Knight and the Green Knight survives despite losing his head, Sir Gawain must keep up his end of the deal by going to have his head chopped off.
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).
Gawain’s own fear of death made him turn to natural instincts; doing everything he could to possibly survive the beheading game. In order to do this, Gawain broke the second contract he made with Bertilak, who is the Green Knight. He gave up his knightly code and
Although the Green Knight basically tricks Gawain, by not telling him about his supernatural capabilities before asking him to agree to his terms, Gawain refuses to withdraw of their agreement. He stands by his commitments, even though it means putting his own life in jeopardy. The poem habitually restates Sir Gawain’s deep fears and apprehensions, but Gawain desires to maintain his own individual integrity at all costs which allows him to master his fears in his quest to seek the Green Chapel. After Gawain arrives at Bertilak’s castle, it is quite obvious that h... ... middle of paper ... ...stops him from sleeping with Bertilak’s wife, only until his finds a way to avoid death does he goes against them. What Gawain learns from the green knight’s challenge is that instinctively he is just a human who is concerned with his own life over anything else.
He finds a strange castle, and while he awaits there for the final day, his knight's ethical code is put to a test by the host and his wife. In this part, Green Knight, in an unmannerly way, enters the hall where King Arthur and his Knights feast and cleverly gets them committed to take his game without revealing what it is he wants to play. The story In this passage from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Green Knight enters the hall on his horse. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are having their feast. They are astounded to see a green knight on a green horse.