Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The king of Camelot and husband of Guinevere. He is the model of a good knight and the uncle of Sir Gawain. At the outset of the poem, he is compared to the noble, mythological Trojan founders of Britain and is described as the most youthful, healthy, and bold of men. He is a true believer in chivalry, and he is loving to his nephew Gawain, who risks his own life to spare his king. When Gawain returns at the end, Arthur recognizes his heroism and the wisdom he has earned and orders the entire court to wear green bands in recognition of their own humility.

King Arthur Quotes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Sir Gawain and the Green Knight quotes below are all either spoken by King Arthur or refer to King Arthur. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Chivalry Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Norton & Company edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight published in 2008.
Lines 1-490 Quotes

By Guenivere, Gawain
now to his king inclines
and says, "I stake my claim.
This moment must be mine.

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Sir Gawain, King Arthur, Queen Guinevere
Page Number: 339-342
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Lines 1998-2531 Quotes

"Call yourself good Sir Gawain?" he goaded,
"who faced down every foe in the field of battle
but now flinches with fear at the foretaste of harm.
Never have I known such a namby-pamby knight.
Did I budge or even blink when you aimed the axe,
or carp or quibble in King Arthur's castle?

Related Characters: The Green Knight (speaker), Sir Gawain, King Arthur
Page Number: 2270-2275
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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King Arthur Character Timeline in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The timeline below shows where the character King Arthur appears in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-490
Chivalry Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
The poet describes the heroic lineage of King Arthur. From the fall of Troy, to the founding of Britain by Brutus, the country... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
...the beginning of the tale, it is Christmas time, and the court is in revelry. King Arthur is in his hall, surrounded by the many knights of the Round Table, feasting,... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
In such a state of excitement, Arthur insists he won’t eat until he hears some adventure story, or finds a jousting partner... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
The Natural and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
...thinking that the Green Knight must be some kind of phantom or magical thing. But Arthur introduces himself, and shows the proper courtesy to the knight, as if he were one... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
...don’t answer, and the Green Knight laughs at them, insulting their supposed fame and fierceness. King Arthur’s pride is wounded and he jumps into action, calling the Green Knight’s words foolish.... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
So, Gawain kneels before the King, who gives a loving blessing and hands him the axe. Gawain boldly approaches the Green... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
King Arthur laughs and says that you can expect this kind of trickery around Christmas time,... (full context)
Lines 491-1125
The Natural and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
The poet comments that the wonder of that night had pleased the merry King Arthur, but that the revelry was soon over, and what followed was a long year... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
The Natural and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
On Allhallows day near the end of autumn, the King throws a feast for Gawain, who is now a hero. The knights and ladies of... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
Christianity Theme Icon
On Christmas day, the court enjoys more festivities, very like the ones at King Arthur’s court, with music and meals served in order of importance. Gawain particularly enjoys the... (full context)
Lines 1998-2531
Chivalry Theme Icon
The Natural and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
...this sorceress who sent Bertilak to Camelot. Her reasons were to test the reputation of Arthur’s knights and to scare Guinevere to death with the gore of the axe stroke. Bertilak... (full context)
Chivalry Theme Icon
The Natural and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Legend, Fame, and Reputation Theme Icon
Games, Rules, and Order Theme Icon
...to Camelot, overcoming many adventures on the way. His neck wound heals and he enters Arthur’s court wearing the green girdle like a sash. He is greeted with joy and love.... (full context)