During this time period, all knights were expected to live up to a code. The code of chivalry was something the knights went by to the best and most perfect knight they could be. Knights were supposed to be faithful, honorable, and brave. In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Sir Gawain was brave and honorable when he stepped up to the test of the Green Knight's challenge in King Arthur's place so his king would not be punished or killed. Later in the story, Sir Gawain has a few mishaps when human nature takes a role in the chivalrous knight's life. Although Sir Gawain fails in some aspects of being a great and perfect knight, human nature steps in while he faces some difficult obstacles.
Sir Gawain had some rough times in his expectations to be a great knight, but he also did great things according to the code and what was to be done as a knight. When the Green Knight appears in the house of King Arthur, the Green Knight demands a challenge. He challenges King Arthur. Doing what a noble, and honorable knight would do, Sir Gawain steps up in King Arthur's place and demands this challenge be his. "Before all, King, confide this fight to me. May it be mine" (141-142). Sir Gawain knows King Arthur is above him in the social status and he should be the one to accept the challenge from the Green Knight. The Green Knight could have possibly known that Sir Gawain would step up in King Arthur's place and did all of this purposely. After Sir Gawain takes his blow on the Green Knight, he is expected to return to the Green Knight for his turn for a blow. One year later, Sir Gawain keeps his promise and struggles to find the Green Sir Gawain did keep his word of returning to the Green Knight because it would only be fair. He did not turn his back on the Green Knight and was not cowardly. .
Sir Gawain presented good qualities as a knight, but also had some qualities that were not chivalric, according to the code.