A knight’s word is a powerful thing because knights are sworn into their positions and often opt for death over disgrace. Pride and honor along with respect and reputation are some of a knight’s main ethics and a knight must be a gentleman with a valued inner worth. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, Sir Gawain’s inner worth is tested by The Green Knight by playing Knightly games. Each game represents certain virtues in life and gives ambiguous interpretations of how one should morally act in order to remain close with his ethics.
Camelot is the Castle in which the book begins. It is Christmas time and everyone in the castle is feasting when the Green Knight is ushered in. He introduces a game in which none of the other knights accept. Finally, Arthur, the owner of the castle, accepts the challenge. Just as Arthur is about to follow through with the test, Sir Gawain interrupts politely and explains to Arthur that he cannot accept the challenge because it is his home and that the kings death will be unacceptable and Arthur should consider him as an alternative. Gawain respectfully convinces Arthur to back away and let him try his skill. The Green Knight makes Gawain promise to the terms that he offers which are: Gawain is allowed one swing of the axe at the Green Knights neck. The Green Knight is allowed to take his swing at Gawain’s neck in 1 year and 1 day. Gawain must present himself at the Green Knights castle at that date otherwise he will be called a coward forever. Gawain accepts the terms and swings the axe at the Green Knights neck severing the head from the body. The headless competitor reiterates the rules one more time and then rides off prompting the continuation of the feast. Gawain’s actions as well as the rules of the games illustrate some of life’s fundamental ethics. Bravery is explained through Gawain’s actions when he steps up and volunteers for the dangerous...
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