Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is considered a masterpiece of Middle English romance. While scholars still disagree about the precise definition of a romance, the basic framework of romance is very close to the hero quest. These stories were recited orally to large groups of people. They were meant to teach and to entertain. What sorts of lessons might the audience extract from the story? How is the story entertaining?
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Certainly Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a great example of the Arthurian legend. Traits like chivalry, honour and duty are personified by Sir. Gawain by not only taking the Green Knight's challenge but honouring the Arthurian code of chivalry and honour when the Knight's wife tempts him. Audiences still love a good story of knightly quests, duels, chastity belts and a good beheading!