One of the most famous Arthurian legends, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the story of one knight’s lesson in honor, discipline, and chivalry. With green skin, green armor, and a green beard, a warrior arrives at King Arthur’s castle and challenges the lord’s warriors. Only Sir Gawain is willing to accept. The challenge is simple: Gawain gets to strike one undefended blow against the Green Knight, but then in a year and a day, the Green Knight will get his turn to strike. They shall meet at the Green Chapel for their final showdown. Gawain lands the blow and severs his opponent’s head, but the Green Knight doesn’t die. Now Gawain has a year to find the Green Chapel and meet his fate.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English: Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt) is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, with its plot combining two types of folklore motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings. The Green Knight is interpreted by some as a representation of the Green Man of folklore and by others as an allusion to Christ. Written in stanzas of alliterative verse, each of which ends in a rhyming bob and wheel, it draws on Welsh, Irish and English stories, as well as the French chivalric tradition. It is an important poem in the romance genre, which typically involves a hero who goes on a quest which tests his prowess, and it remains popular to this day in modern English renderings from J. R. R. Tolkien, Simon Armitage and others, as well as through film and stage adaptations.
John Massey was a member of the landed gentry from Cheshire.