Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Questions and Answers
by Pearl-Poet

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight book cover
Start Your 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 info

Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,750 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

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. 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial