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What challenge does the green knight make? Who meets the challenge? What is the result?

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princeof09 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 5, 2009 at 8:22 AM via web

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What challenge does the green knight make? Who meets the challenge? What is the result?

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goreadabook | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 3, 2009 at 3:07 PM (Answer #1)

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The Green Knight's original challenge was for someone to step forward and strike him with his own axe under the condition that he meet him again one year later to receive a blow in return.  Arthur steps up to the challenge, but in order to protect him, Sir Gawain steps up and meets the challenge instead.  One year later he leaves Camelot to fulfill his agreement to receive a blow in return.  Along his way to meet the Green Knight, Sir Gawain is met with a series of challenges as he encounters new people and new places.  These challenges are moral and ethical in nature and are meant to test the quality of his character.  He falls short, but has given his best effort.  When he comes face to face with the Green Knight, he only gives him a minor blow on the neck rather than choosing to cut his head off.  He is shown mercy and forgiveness for being imperfect; an allusion to Christianity and the forgiveness of Christ.  Sir Gawain learns that he is an imperfect person, but his values and morals are strengthened in the end for having experienced the series of challenges presented to him.

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