[…] We two are fated to redden the selfsame earth with our blood, right here in Troy [….] I will never return home [….] the earth here will hold me. And since I will pass under the earth after you […] I will not bury you until I have brought here the armor and head of Hector, who killed you ….
Sir Gawain and the Green Knightapproaches the epic hero in a more traditional fashion. Similar to the Iliad, supernatural beings and tests of character become the source of Sir Gawain’s challenge. As a knight in King Arthur’s court, Gawain is typified by his courage and chivalry. Gawain exemplifies heroism following a challenge presented by a mystical Green Knight to King Arthur:
[…] and so I call in this court for a Christmas game […] if any in this house […] be so bold in his blood, his brain so wild as stoutly to strike one stroke for another […] and I shall bide the first blow […] in a twelvemonth and a day he shall have the same ….
Gawain interjects accepting the challenge for himself, as the king’s importance far outweighs his own. The ensuing circumstances of the challenge call for a true test of Gawain’s loyalty and honor asking him to return to the Green Knight for repercussions, after a year passes. Gawain remains close to his faith, diligently praying until his journey to the knight’s castle. An unexpected sequence of advances by a married woman tests Gawain’s character before that of the Knight causing Gawain to call on the Lord and the Holy Mother for guidance. Remaining steadfast and strong, Gawain keeps his honor through two advances. On the third advance, Gawain’s fear of the thought of death at the hands of the Green Knight leads to momentary doubt in his faith. Following the last advance, Gawain reacquaints himself with the Green Knight. The Knight eventually reveals himself to Gawain telling him the purpose of the game and the truth in the woman’s advance. Gawain’s initial faith saves him from the Green Knight with only a scare on his neck as a...