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. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial