Valuing Honor More than Life: the Green Knight's Challenge to King Aurthur and His Knights

Valuing Honor More than Life: the Green Knight's Challenge to King Aurthur and His Knights

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King Arthur and his knights represent the pinnacle of bravery, chivalry, and honor. However, when a stranger, the Green Knight, enters Camelot with a challenge, none of the knights accept it. The knights should have accepted the challenge for the honor and glory, yet they chose not to for fear of losing their lives. The knights are called do defend the honor of Arthur’s court, yet nobody steps forward. Arthur does his duty as king and agrees to accept the challenge. Sir Gawain, realizing the threat to his king, replaces Arthur in the challenge to save his life. The purpose of the Green Knight’s challenge is to teach Gawain to value his honor more than his life.
One may consider Gawain’s acceptance of the challenge, after Arthur agreed to the challenge, a noble gesture but the king should never have had to step forward. Gawain says, “Though you be tempted thereto, to take it on yourself…I am the weakest, well I know, and of wit feeblest” (350-354). While Gawain appears to be acting humble and willing to sacrifice himself, Gawain should never have let the king be put into that positi...

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