| Quote #1
The horse that he rides [is] entirely of that colour,
In medieval romances, a man’s ability to control his horse is a symbol of his masculinity and his own self-control. The greater the horse he controls, the greater the man. So, the fact that the Green Knight’s horse is huge, strong, and spirited but obedient to him tells us that his character is very strong, masculine, and in control of himself, too.
| Quote #2
It would be hard to describe even half the fine work
The fact that the Green Knight is entirely green and that butterflies and birds are embroidered on his clothing suggests that we are meant to connect him to the natural world. He might represent nature and animal instincts, in contrast to the more civilized world of King Arthur’s court.
| Quote #3
But then the weather on earth battles with winter,
This section, and the lines that follow it, detail the way that the seasons naturally give way to one another. We know that after a year passes and the winter arrives again, Gawain must travel to the Green Chapel to meet his fate. So, the feeling we are left with here is one of man’s powerlessness to stop the turning of the earth and, by extension, his fate.