Essay on The Green Knight Calls!

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The Green Knight Calls!

The passage in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, from line 203 to line 278, sets the stage for the rest of the poem by introducing the Green Knight's challenge to King Arthur. The haughty and reckless Green Knight rides into Arthur's court, demands the attention of the knights and issues a challenge to exchange blows with his axe. The Green Knight's axe is a symbol of the judgment that is to come to men at the end of their time in this world. The confidence possessed by the Green Knight in riding thus into Arthur's court, is later shown to be due to the enchantment put on him by Morgan Le Faye. The Green Knight's confidence and his challenges to the court create a caricature of the bravery of knighthood and
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They sit in stunned silence until Arthur speaks up. Although the author claims that it was not strictly out of fear that they sat silently, but rather out of a measure of courtly grace, this explanation reads more like a retrospective apology rather than a statement of the facts.

Arthur comes forward and asks the Green Knight to step down from his horse and state his mission, but the Green Knight does things his own way. He mentions the praise that Arthur and his court have received in nearly mocking tones, saying that it is "puffed up so high" that he has sought them out. He says that he has come in peace or else he would have worn his armor. This proclamation is strange, for although he states that "I willed no war, I wore no metal," he is certainly carrying a significant piece of metal, the enormous green axe. The Green Knight's demeanor, and surely his axe, would not have seemed so peaceful to a band of knights in the middle ages. He then tells Arthur that he only requests his participation in a game. Arthur agrees to the game without question and the passage ends. The game, we learn later, is an exchange of blows to the neck with the axe, a year and a day apart. Not As It Seems!

Sir Gawain's Pentangle

All is not as it seems in this section. This dichotomy is a device used throughout the poem. Arthur's valiant knights allow a complete stranger to ride untouched into

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