Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a 14th century alliterative poem reflecting themes of romance and chivalry (Lawall 2005). The basic gist of this poem is the story of Sir Gawain, a knight from King Arthur's table.
In the poem, the knight is challenged by a mysterious warrior dressed and appearing completely green.
The poem reflects the problems faced by Gawain till his appointment with the Knight, each adventure deep with themes of romance and chivalry.
From the very beginning of the poem, the reader notices the strong genre of romance underlying the work in Fitt 1. It begins with the legends explaining the history of famous battles and legendary heroes "and when this Britain was built by this brave noble, Here bold men bred, in battle exulting." This chivalry of the court is evident in the dinner itself "Jousted in jollity these gentle knights." The feast shows the wonders of the court and the men who are part of it, thus playing on the reader's idea of romance and chivalry. The dressing of Guinevere is described in abundant detail; a clear image is drawn into the reader's minds of her "splendid silks at the sides" and "Brilliantly embroidered with the best gems." The entire description adds to the romance vein running throughout the poem. Also stated are the brave tales of adventures of "momentous marvel that he might believe." Thus, in the very opening the reader is given an opulent feast, men desiring adventure and bravado coupled with women dressed in lavish detail: all perfect elements of an Arthurian romance. Chivalry is a strong undertone in Fitt 2. ...