illustration of a green shield with an ornate design

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Pearl-Poet

Start Free Trial

What is the significance of the Green Knight’s challenge? That is, what is at stake for the Arthur and his court?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the challenge posed by the Green knight presents a challenge to the honor of King Arthur's court.  Notice that the challenge is important and fussed over before anyone, except the Green Knight, even knows what the challenge is. 

A challenge not only calls into question the knights' masculinity, but their character and honor as well.  It's a question of living up to the chivalric code, or chivalry.  The knights have to be chivalrous, filled with honor and a sense of duty and loyalty and bravery, and a sense of right and wrong, good and evil. 

To fail a challenge would be a great failure. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team