illustration of a green shield with an ornate design

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Pearl-Poet

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Part One, Verses 11-21, Lines 232-490 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What is Arthur’s initial offer to the Green Knight?

2. Is the Green Knight wearing armor? Is he carrying a weapon?

3. How does the Green Knight taunt the Knights of the Round Table?

4. According to the bargain proposed by the Green Knight, what may an adversary who accepts his challenge do to him?

5. What must the adversary later do to complete the bargain?

6. What is the initial response of the knights of the Round Table to the challenge of the Green Knight.

7. Who first accepts the challenge?

8. Who finally beheads the Green Knight?

9. What does the Green Knight do on being beheaded?

10. By what name does the Green Knight say he is commonly known?

Answers
1. Arthur offers the Green Knight hospitality, and says the stranger may give his reason for coming at the appropriate time.

2. No, the Green Knight is not wearing armor and carries no weapon but the ax.

3. The Green Knight calls the knights of the Round Table “boys,” and states that they are too young to match him in combat.

4. An adversary may behead the Green Knight.

5. The adversary must then find the Green Knight and allow himself to be beheaded.

6. The knights of the Round Table initially sit in silence on hearing the challenge.

7. King Arthur initially accepts the challenge.

8. Sir Gawain finally beheads the Green Knight.

9. On being beheaded, the Green Knight retrieves his head, then carries it to his horse and mounts.

10. The Green Knight says he is commonly known as the “Knight of the Green Chapel.”

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Part One, Verses 1-10, Lines 1-231 Questions and Answers

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Part Two, Verses 22-34, Lines 491-810 Questions and Answers