The Poem 'Sir Gawain and The Green Knight'

The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Neil D. is about a challenge given to King Arthur but his nephew Sir Gawain wants to take the challenge so he can restore his honor. It all begins with a Green Knight arriving at King Arthur’s court, says he comes to see the famous knights of the round table, and challenge the king to a deathly game that will take place exactly one year and one day. Sir Gawain takes on the challenge and his honor is tested by the Green Knight without him knowing

Sir Gawain fits the element “The Call” of the hero’s journey because the Green Knight talks about a knight named Sir Gawain that took the king’s challenge. Sir Gawain is willing to give his life for the king, he believes the king’s life is more important than his and also he wants to restore his honor. When the challenge is described to the king sir Gawain says ‘hear me, my lord. let this challenge be mine,'(340) Gawain shows the respect he has for the king and also he wants to earn his place in the royal court or at least be remembered for doing something and not just having his place for the blood relating over the king. He also wants to show everyone his capabilities as a knight. The king doesn’t like the idea of Gawain going for him the king tells Gawain he will have another man to do the job. Gawain convinces Arthur and makes it clear that his mind is set ‘let me play this green man’s game if I ask too boldly, may this court declare me at fault.'(360) Gawain is ready to take on this challenge and will go through with it. he shows that he really wants to be remembered for doing something brave.

Throughout the poem, Gawain also fits the “challenges/temptations” element of The Heroś Journey which some of them are hard and easy challenges. As Gawain is getting ready to search for the Green Knight ‘he spurred his horse and rode strongly away'(670) this shows Gawain’s easy challenge because he effortlessly leaped onto his horse a rode his way to look for the Green Knight. as he rode strongly away he projected that searching for the Green Knight. Gawain faced his easy challenges and temptation but the hard was yet to come. the lady of the Green Knight’s castle gave him a chance to live by giving him a belt.’Gawain hesitated his heart reached for protection like a thief for a gem.'( 1855) the lady of the castle offered him a belt and told him that it would help him to not die. this is considered a hard challenge because all of the other challenges he has faced he was able to take on them but this depended on his life, so he failed.

Lastly Gawain also fits “The transformation” element of the Heroś Journey when he accepts the sin that has committed when accepting the belt. The Green Knight reveals his identity and tells Gawain he could keep the belt. Gawain responded, ‘I’ll keep it, gladly, not for its gold, nor its lovely silk, nor the glorious craft that made it, but to see it, often, as a sign of sin.'(2430). Gawain accepted the belt and said that he would wear it not for the value of it but for the meaning which is the sin that he committed . Gawain returns to Arthur’s court and he accepts his weakness; He tells everyone what the belt means and how is going to become a part of him now ‘ this band and nick on my neck are one and the same, the blame and loss I suffered for the cowardice, the greed, that came to my soul. This sign of bad faith is the mark of my sin: I’ll wear it on my waist as long as I live, for a man may hide an injury to his soul, but he’ll never get rid of it, fastened forever.'(2505). Sir Gawain will not hide his ‘injury’ on his soul deny the lost he has been through. he will wear the sin and greed his whole life and learn from it.

In conclusion after one year and one day, the Green Knight was found by Sir Gawain. The Green Knight tested Gawain without him knowing, this could be an example of a daily situation because sometimes we are tested in our lives without knowing. The Green Knight was able to make Sir Gawain bend a little but the Green Knight doesn’t blame a person for wanting to live and finding any way to achieve that. Gawain was then able to return to Arthur’s court; even if the challenge was not won or completed he still did it and tried everything he could plus he learned a lesson and also earned him a lot of respect in the court.  

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The Poem 'Sir Gawain and The Green Knight'. (2021, Mar 16). Retrieved April 19, 2024 , from

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