Why Does Sir Gawain Volunteer to Fight the Green Knight?
The green knight challenges the main character in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with respect. Why? He is eager to defend the Round Table Knights’ and King Arthur’s honor. Furthermore, he wishes to demonstrate his bravery and chivalrous abilities on a grand scale. He completes his task by openly demonstrating his power over an unexpected and presumptuous visitor.
The remarkable chivalric poem describes Gawain, Arthur’s nephew, as he takes his famous journey. It highlights the protagonist’s moral qualities throughout his exploits. The tale begins with King Arthur, surrounded by knights, welcoming the new year. An unknown knight enters the hall astride a horse during dinner, with hands, face, clothing, and whole-body bright green.
The mysterious knight invites a brave man to accept an unusual test. If the volunteer accepts a year and a day later for him to deliver one blow with his battle-ax, he will get the same strike from the Green Knight. There are no takers. When Arthur, wounded by the Green Knight’s mockery, reaches for an ax, Gawain restrains him and takes on everything himself. Only Sir Gawain dares to take up the gauntlet in order to punish the unruly visitor for his insolent trickery.
Gawain decapitates the insolent knight with his ax. The knight, on the other hand, does not perish. He raises his head and sits back in the saddle calmly before departing, reminding Gawain of their appointed time and place. Despite the fantastic outcome of the fight, Gawain dares to seek the Green Chapel a year later to fulfill the conditions of their bargain, demonstrating remarkable personality traits.
On New Year’s Day, the Green Knight appears at Camelot and challenges the knights to a beheading game with his axe. The knights are terrified because of his stature, which suggests that he has supernatural abilities. When no one accepts his challenge, he taunts them for their fear. King Arthur is enraged by the Green Knight’s behavior, but Gawain interferes. All of Arthur’s companions persuade him to let Gawain fight the Green Knight instead, which he does in the end.
Gawain is Arthur’s nephew and the youngest of his warriors. He might be the least powerful (according to his own statements). Nonetheless, he refuses to back down from the challenge. Gawain claims that King Arthur should not take chances when there are so many brave and talented fighters around him. When other knights are hesitant to act, Gawain demonstrates bravery and loyalty to King Arthur.
He understands that the game is likely to cost him his life. However, he considers it less than the king’s life. Furthermore, he views it as a method to prove himself among other knights and preserve Camelot’s reputation, as evidenced by his statement.