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Green Knight Essay

847 words - 4 pages

Green Knight

One of the most misunderstood characters from the Arthurian Legends is the Green Knight, especially in comparison with Sir Gawain. At first glance, the Green Knight seems to be very overpowering in his challenging of the knights of King Arthur’s court. He even indicates that everyone in the court is weak, and he cannot believe that this is the famous Arthur’s house:

“What, is this Arthur’s house,” said that horseman then. (Norton, 309)

The Green Knight knows that he will not die from a strike of an axe, and so he is offering to play this game to mock the knights of the Round Table. But, as it turns out later, the Green Knight is more noble and fair ...view middle of the document...

He tests Sir Gawain by sending his wife to try to seduce him and to check if Sir Gawain will be honest about it. This test is simply the test of honesty, but the real challenge is that Sir Gawain doesn’t know that it’s a test. And Sir Gawain does well twice when tested, but the third time, he fears more for his life than for guarding his honesty and lies to the Green Knight. The Green Knight takes into consideration that Sir Gawain has passed two out of three tests, and when the time comes for the blow of the axe, he pays Gawain back for his honesty by not striking but only nicks his neck for the one time that he has lied.

The Green Knight may be associated with another similar character, known as Sir Gromer Somer. Both have a history of being weird and misunderstood. In “The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell,” Gromer has a strange request for Arthur, and if it is not fulfilled, he will kill him. But, in reality, Sir Gromer Somer has a right to be enraged with Arthur and maybe even to kill him because Arthur has taken his land away and given it to Gawain. However, Sir Gromer acts calmly and doesn’t rush to kill Arthur. He even offers Arthur a way out and to be spared from his anger by finding an answer to this question: “what do women most...

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