Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Study Guide

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“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”  Study Guide

1. What exactly is the Green Knight’s challenge to King Arthur’s court?

 

2. What is his agreement with Sir Gawain?

 

3. Describe the conflict Gawain faces in the castle.

 

4. How does Gawain break his promise to the lord of the castle?

 

5. Describe what happens when Gawain meets the Green Knight on New Year’s Day.

 

6. Who would you say finally wins the conflict between Gawain and the Green Knight?

 

7. Discuss the character of Sir Gawain.  How is he a superhuman epic-type hero?  How is he flawed, just as any real person may be flawed?

 

8. The figure of the Green Knight remains a puzzle in many ways to the reader.  Is he totally evil, or totally good, or somewhere in between?  What might he symbolize in the narrative?

 

9. Explore the possible symbolic use of the color green in this work.  Why do you think the meeting with the Green Knight takes place on New Year’s Day?

 

10. What might be the symbolism in Sir Gawain being tempted 3 times?

 

11. Why might the lord’s wife have had such power over Gawain?

 

12. How would you state the theme of this story?

 

13. In the romantic literature of the Middle Ages, women are often represented as  a) maidens, b) mothers, c) temptresses, or d) old hag crones. How is the lady in this story characterized?

 

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