In the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the main character, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge put forth by a mysterious man known as the Green Knight. The Knight is there to test if Sir Gawain actually holds himself to the knight’s high standards of living. He does so by putting him in situations where he has the choice to either follow the code or not. Sir Gawain throughout this tale successfully follows the knight’s high standards of conduct by having courage and sticking to his word, being a gentlemen to women and being honest.
Courage is a major thing in the standards for a knight because a knight should have no fear and go out on a limb of bravery. Sir Gawain shows that he has courage in the story by accepting the Green Knight’s challenge. This challenge was that a person could take a swing at the Green Knight but in a year and a day they must meet up again and it was the Green Knights turn to have a swing. At first King Arthur had wanted to accept the challenge but Sir Gawain had told him to let him do it. Gawain proves that he has bravery because he is going up against a person he has never met before, he does not know what to expect really in a year and one day. Along with courage another important part of these standards is sticking to one’s word. When Gawain agrees to this challenge he knows that he has to meet back up with the Knight in a year and a day. He manages to do so and the Knight is surprised that he actually kept his word and came back. This proves that he has bravery again because he knows that he is going to have the Knight swing his sword at him and he might just loose his head as the Knight had happen to him. However, Sir Gawain remains faithful to his word and shows up and is very courageous for returning back.
The most well known knight high standard is being chivalrous and a gentlemen. Sir Gawain was put through another test put forth by the Green Knight, however this one Gawain had no idea about it. The Green Knight had sent his wife to flirt with Sir Gawain and seduce him but Gawain did not know that this lady was the wife. He does not fall for the temptations except he does accept a kiss every day. When the lady goes to give him a gold ring, he denies is but he also does accept a green sash to help him fight. Sir Gawain has not the slightest clue that this is another test but he successfully passes it because he was a gentlemen. He did not allow himself to be seduced by this lady whom he had just met. The Green Knight put forth this challenge in order to determine what will happen at the battle when it is his turn to take a strike at Gawain.
Finally, the last part of the knight’s standards that are in this tale is honesty. At the battle the Green Knight had only cut Gawain the slightest bit because he was a gentlemen to his wife. Gawain at this time admits to everything and does not just disown what happened. He had owned up to what had happened between his wife and him and it was acceptable. The Green Knight appreciates his honesty and lets him go with only a little scratch on him. Honesty is an honorable attribute to have and knight’s should be honest. Because of Sir Gawain’s honesty in this situation and how he acted he was let off with only a minor injury rather then his head cut off.
Throughout this tale Gawain time and time again successfully follows the knight’s high standards by having courage in tough situations, being a gentlemen to women and being honest to the Green Knight. Sir Gawain holds himself to these standards and that is why he is an admirable hero. He constantly passes the Knights challenges, even the ones he did not know about.