Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a magnificent poem written by an unknown author who later is known as the Pearl Poet. It was written at the end of the 14th Century and said that the author was definitely a scholar and knowledgeable of the physical terrain. Some people believe that the author could have been a Monk that belonged to a Monastery in the area. The poem focuses on Codes of Knighthood; tying both their moral and Christian virtues together. Sir Gawains moral compass creates a concrete path to his own solidarity as a true honored and noble Knight. This path is paved through the challenges Sir Gawain faces in all four aspects of lifemind, heart, body and spiritthat make a human balanced.
Sir Gawain is confronted with the challenge of trickery by the Green Knight. When no one else takes the challenge except the honorable King Arthur, Sir Gawains moral compass accelerates into high gear. This is the beginning of the challenge of the North, the head. Sir Gawain stands and accepts the challenge to merely prove his status. Sir Gawain comments on how he needs to prove himself as a Knight as he only sits at the Round Table because of his bloodline. As a youth, his impulsive acceptance made him only seem brave as he was incapable of seeing the deception of the challenge; there was never to be a winner.
Sir Gawain is feeling safe and secure in the Castle of Bertilak only to have his Knightly Code challenged bringing us to the challenge of the East, the heart. One of the most critical challenges would be that of chivalry. Chivalry meant everything, extreme loyalty. Sir Gawain is faced with seduction and lust. He is oblivious that these advances by the hosts wife are yet another test. He turned down the advances three times even though he believed her to be beautiful. He also didnt take the ring but did take the green girdle which he believed would help to save his life. Sir Gawain follows through with his deal by giving Bertilak the kisses from his wife but is not forth coming about the girdle.