Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1504 words - 7 pages

The poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight compares a super natural creature to nature. The mystery of the poem is ironic to the anonymous author. The story dates back into the fourteenth century, but no one knows who originally wrote the poem. This unknown author explains in the poem of Sir Gawain not knowing of the location of the Green Chapel and or who the Green Knight really is. This keeps the reader entertained with the suspicion of not knowing. The author then does not give his name or take credit for his own work.
“And the city was smashed, burned to ashes…” King Arthur and his men had just fought an enormous fight and came out victorious. King Arthur and his men were the most ...view middle of the document...

The reader at this point expects Gawain to prove his courage and behead the Green Knight ending the challenge. However, after Gawain strikes the Green Knight, decapitating him, the Green Knight then surprisingly stands up, picks up his head and sends Gawain into a state of disbelief and utter fear. As promised by Gawain to endure the challenge he was told to search for the Green Chapel in a year and a day. As Gawain searches for the Green Chapel he begins to wear out from the long journey of not knowing where to look. He finally is approached by a king and his men who were out hunting. The host takes Gawain back to the kingdom giving Gawain a place to sleep and food to eat. Then the host comes up with a game. He explains to Gawain that it’s around Christmas time again and the people in his kingdom were very kind and would give him gifts. So every gift Gawain gets he must give to the Lord of the house and everything the Lord kills for food he must give to Gawain. Gawain gives the Lord every gift he received except for one. It was a magical, green belt that would keep him alive no matter what. Whenever Gawain finds the Green Chapel, just days later, he puts on the belt and marches into the chapel. The Green Knight was in the chapel sharpening his axe when Gawain arrives. The Green Knight was ready to return the hit of the axe to Gawain’s neck. Gawain kneeled down ready to take the blow from the axe. As the Green Knight swings he stops just before hitting the neck of Gawain. Gawain questions the knight asking why he didn’t hit him and the response is harsh. The Green knight tells Gawain he did not finish his swing because he flinched and that his name should not be Gawain because his name is too noble and Gawain is too much of a coward. Gawain promised he would not move and he would stay as still as a rock this time. The Green Knight held up the axe and waited to see if Gawain would move, but he stood like he was a tree rooted in the ground. Then the Green Knight said alright I guess you are ready now. He then swung the axe this time only nicking Gawains neck. Gawain then jumped up armed with his sword and shield ready to fight. The Green Knight assered Gawain to calm down and listen. The Green Knight then spoke to Gawain saying,
“Warrior, Soldier, no need to be fierce now. No one’s used you badly, shown you Discourtesy, what was done was was what we agreed. I owed you a stroke, I’ve paid you a stroke: I realese you from any and all obligations. Perhaps, if my hands were quicker, I could have dealt you a better blow, and done harm. I pretended one stroke, a threat, a joke, but left you whole, I had the right, because of our other agreement, in my castle; You kept faithfully, performed like an honest man, gave me everything you got. Except that you kissed my wife, I swung for that reason-but you gave me back her kisses. So all you got for that was a puff of air. An honest man need never fear. But still the thired day, there in my castle you failed...

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