Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
This prose rendering of a poem from the late fourteenth century (or earlier) recounts an adventure undertaken by King Arthur's famous nephew, Sir Gawain. Brave and chivalrous, faithful to his word and ever-mindful of his honor, as well as others', Gawain represents the model of knightly grace. When a gigantic stranger clad in green armor bursts in on the Round Table assembly to issue a challenge, the gallant Gawain volunteers to do battle for his king. This parable blends paganistic elements and Christian ethics to celebrate the virtue of forgiveness, and it is frequently assigned to classes in literature and history because of its short length and its excellent representation of chivalric tradition.