Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Questions and Answers
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what does the green knight represent in the story?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Green Knight can also be construed as a kind of fertility god. Such deities were common in pagan cultures, and lived on in various guises long after the establishment of Christianity. They were widely held to die during the winter, only to be reborn in the spring as part of a never-ending cycle of death and regeneration. That would explain the Knight's color. It's also significant that the Green Knight's clothes are embroidered with gold, the color of the sun, without whose warmth and light the earth would not survive. The Knight wears holly, a plant that does not die in winter, hence its association with Christmas. This is the perfect symbol of the eternal that the Green Knight represents. He is the eternal life force coursing through the natural world and human beings alike, a vibrant force that manifests itself in the endless striving and desire for procreation among animal and vegetable life.

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The Green Knight in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ca. 1360-1400CE) is most likely...

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