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Word Count: 931
In the epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the author uses the protagonist Sir Gawain to illustrate the heroic ideals of chivalry loyalty and honesty in fourteenth century England The poem depicts the fabled society of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table It extols and idolizes the virtues of the fabled kingdom In the poem Gawain is the epitome of virtue and all that is good Throughout the poem however his character is constantly tested and his integrity is compromised In the end Gawain proves that although he is fallible he is an honest and chivalrous man of heroic statureThe poem begins on New Years Eve in Camelot during a huge dinner celebration The author elaborately details the feasting and fellowship and carefree mirth and sets the scene with fair folk and gentle knights p 2 Amid the merriment and festivities of these noble persons a huge man on horseback dressed entirely in green gallops into the hall Arrogantly he issues a challenge to everyone at the feast for someone to come forward and strike him with his axe To this man the green knight promises to award his adversary with his beautiful axe on the condition that in a year from then the challenger should also receive the same single blow of the axe in return Such a challenge baffles the court and no one responds until finally King Arthur stands up and accepts the green knights offer though claiming it ridiculous With grandeur and the courteous air of a hero Sir Gawain stands up and graciously asks to be granted the challenge on behalf of the king Such a courageous and noble act defines the character of Sir Gawain With an adept swing of the sword he swiftly beheads the illustrious green knight Yet instead of killing him the green knight picks up his head tells him to seek out the green chapel and warns him not
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