The  Green  Knight  Calls!

The Green Knight's Ax. Click to Enlarge.
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 excessive pride is indeed the excess that this cautionary tale warns against. Sir Gawain meets the challenge but his actions show that even the bravest knight must not be too proud or sure of himself.
Ax created by Lowell Wilson in 3d Studio Max
Header image map created by Lowell Wilson with 3d Studio Max, Bryce 3d, Photoshop 5 and Fireworks

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