Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

What are the major characteristics of "the hero" as represented by Gawain in this poem?


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 14th century heroes like Gawain tend to be mythic folk heroes who transcended mortal challenges and constructs. He exploits are understandable and laudable in the general consciousness of the masses. The Arthurian heroes are men with great courage as well human frailties. Gawain follows the chivalric code but suffers from the temptations of man.   Gawain steps forward to accept the challenge of the Green Knight in place of King Arthur. In this, he displays bravery, courage, and chivalry. During his journey to meet with the Green Knight, Sir Gawain, unbeknownst to himself is being tested constantly. Is he everything he claims to be? Gawain passes the first tests and acts honorably throughout, but in the end he fails. Fear of the Green Knight, fear of losing, and fear of disgrace lead him to accept the "green girdle" that he believes will protect him. Thus, we see that even the most heroic of men is flawed. .