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.
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.
As he tries to perform the first part of the challenge, he stumbles into an even bigger surprise. As Gawain hits the Green Knight with an ax, the head of the Green Knight falls on the floor. Instead of the Green Knight falling, he jumps up, grabs his head and leaves, with these final words: "Sir Gawain forget not to go as agreed…To the Green Chapel come, I charge you to take such a dint as you have dealt – you have well deserved that your head should have a knock on New Year's morn." (Norton Anthology,211) The year goes by, and Gawain prepares for his long journey. When the final day comes, Sir Gawain is given a farewell celebration, and armed with a ceremony, off he goes.
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.
“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). He said Sir Gawain would have to come find him in a year, or be claimed a coward forever. Not only would Sir Gawain have to face a magical immortal man, but he would have to go on a mysterious journey to find him. On his trip Gawain is tiered and lost, but starts to see a shimmering castle that is hidden by magic. “He stopped and stared at one side of that stronghold as it sparkled and shone within shimmering oaks,-“(Sir Gawain and The Green Knight ln.771-772).
In one swift movement Gawain beheads the knight, and in one more swift movement the Knight unwaveringly stands up and picks his severed head from the floor. In the spirit of the game, the head begins to croak that in one year he will return the favor to Gawain at the green chapel in the hopes that Arthur’s Champion will be brave enough to face the challenge. Gawain is in good spirits, and a year later he stumbles the home of Lord and Lady Bertilak on his way to fulfill his end of the bargain. Lord Bertilak insists that Gawain stay and enjoy whatever he finds on his hunt, on the condition that Gawain gives him whatever h... ... middle of paper ... ...he helpless Gawain are reminiscent of Adam and Eve succumbing to the serpent and the apple on the promise of receiving knowledge. Upon being found out for their crimes, Adam and Eve as well as Gawain are in shame for deceiving the honors bestowed upon them and must therefore live with the repercussions of being weak willed or unable to comply with the rules they are given.
Also Christmas past brings back memories Such as, the festive joy, the feel of Christmas and the love between family and friends. There are three views on Christmas in the book, Scrooges Bob Cratchitts and Fezziwig. Scrooge can't stand Christmas he thinks it a time of depression and deep gloom e.g. 'What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry?'
Similarly, Sir Gawain and Green Knight tells the story of a hero and his quest. The romantic poem first appeared in the fourteenth century. The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight begins on Christmas day when a mysterious Green Knight rides into King Arthur’s cou... ... middle of paper ... ...hurian period followed the code of chivalry symbolized by the pentangle. The pentangle was seen on Sir Gawain’s shield, which gave him strength and reminded him of the chivalric code on his quest. The societal values from both time periods can be viewed as honorable, but the poems conveyed the notable differences between the two.
No matter how much we might still love it, Christmastime just isn’t the same as when we were young. And at a time of all the aggravating shopping hustle and bustle, dents in the pockets, headaches, traffic jams and long lines, I begin to realize that God has sent me the most magical Christmas gift of all, a beautiful three year old whom I can relive Christmas in all over. Through my child’s eyes, I see myself each time his face lights up at the sight of Santa, and I feel his anticipation each morning as he faithfully opens up one more window on the Christmas calendar. Tonight, as we decorate the tree, I admiringly watched his tiny fingers delicately place each of the ornaments on all the same branches until they drooped to the floor. So proud of his work, I secretly placed some elsewhere, as to not hurt his feelings, and wondered how many times my own mother had done the same thing.