It takes a mild rebuke by the Green Knight to crack Gawain’s façade of confident valor. His conscience compels him to break down when confronted by his host as to his indiscretion. However, this happened only when the host had revealed himself to be the same as the Green Knight. We realize that Gawain had previously perceived in Sir Bertilak an equal in knighthood; thus his ease in deceiving him in the exchange of winnings game. When Gawain realizes he was the subject of a test, he sees Bertilak/Green Knight in a different light.
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."
He asks to be granted the privilege to claim the Green Knight's challenge because it does not befit a king. Proof of Gawain’s character is substantiated by his noble acceptance of the Green Knight’s beheading game in order to “release the king outright from his obligation”(SGGK l. 365). It shows courage and loyalty that even among famed knights suc... ... middle of paper ... ...love for his life. Thus Gawain deserves less blame for his misdemeanor minor transgression. Although Gawain, like most us, is prone to evil thoughts of selfishness and dishonesty, and takes a cowardly action, "men still hold him dear" in Bercilak's castle as well as in Arthur's Camelot (SGGK l. 2465).
Gawain's first trial is in the castle when he takes over A... ... middle of paper ... ...ble to admit that he was dishonest and proved that the knights at the Round Table were all just as honorable as he. The return occurs after the Green Knight and Sir Gawain embrace each other in friendship and Sir Gawain heads back to Camelot. He was given his life back, and the green scarf as a reminder that he had committed a sin. He was a stronger knight and had learned a valuable lesson when he returned to King Arthur's court. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a great example of the hero cycle.
The Green Knight disrupts a Christmas celebration taking place in Camelot, and offers a contest: an exhange of ax-strokes. Gawain takes up the contest and chops off the head of the Green Knight who survives through magical means. Gawain sets forth to accept the return blow which is to take place a year and one day from the first. While Gawain is searching for the Green Knight's chapel, he is taken in by a great lord named Bercilak who puts Gawain's honesty and integrity to the test. In parrying Bercilak's wife's attempts at seduction with gentlemanly skill, Gawain passes this moral test.
This code led many knights to attempt perfection such as Sir Gawain. However, Gawain, the representation of mankind, fails to be flawless. The Green Knight forgives him because of the remorse in Gawain's actions. The poet heeds that perfection is near impossible to reach fruition without God's grace and one's repentance of sins.
Just as he begins to agree to the terms Sir Gawain jumps up and asks to take on the test himself. He grips the axe and cuts off the knight’s head in one fatal blow. To everyone’s surprise the headless knight now picks up his head and restates the terms of the pact to remind Gawain in a years’ time they are to meet at the Green Chapel so he can return his blow. The author of the article Catherine Swanson says that the story is good and important. The time finally comes for Sir Gawain to take the journey to the Green Chapel to meet up with the Green Knight as he previously agreed.
His proposition reduces "the noblest knights known under Christ” (Part 1) “to cowering, quaking men.”(Part 1) In spite how the court reacted to the Green Knight's challenge, Arthur still insists, "No guest here is aghast of your great words" (Part 1). By verbally accepting the Green Knight's challenge, Sir Gawain supports Arthur's playful - if not outright dishonest - words, thereby managing to maintain the integrity of King Arthur's court. He also unknowingly passes his first and most obvious test. It is in the castle that Sir Gawain's ability t... ... middle of paper ... ... host. However, because he does not realize that he is being tested, Sir Gawain fails the test.
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.
He probably feels that the first part of the game wasn’t completely fair, because the beheaded Green Knight survived what a mortal man cannot. Nevertheless, Sir Gawain acts like a true honorable knight and decides to face his destiny: 'Why should I tarry?' And smiled with tranquil eye; 'In destinies sad or merry, True men can but try.' (Norton 561 - 565) Click here to listen to this monologue Realizing that he is just human and is predestined for a test he isn’t fully aware of, the only thing he can do is to do his best and not worry about the outcome. Sir Gawain decides to fully prepare himself for this ordeal and goes alone to pray humbly to G-d.