Gawain and the Green Knight
By kiraaston, Updated
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"And so all I ask of this court is a Christmas game, For the Yule is here, and New Year’s, and here sit young men; If any man holds himself, here in this house, so hardy, So bold in his blood—and so brainless in his head— That he dares to stoutly exchange one stroke for another" (lines 63-67).
"Lightly the King leaped down and clutched it in his hand; Then quickly that other lord alighted on his feet. Arthur lay hold of the ax, he gripped it by the handle, And he swung it up over him sternly, as if to strike" (lines 106-109).
"Sir Gawain laid hold of the ax and he hefted it high, His pivot foot thrown forward before him on the floor, And then, swiftly, he slashed at the naked neck" (lines 146-148).
The Green Knight appears at King Arthur's dinner and challenges one of the men to a "game". He requests that someone pick up his sword and strike him with it, but be able to accept the same back.
"Come to the Green Chapel, I charge you, and take A stroke the same as you’ve given, for well you deserve To be readily requited on New Year’s morn. Many men know me, the Knight of the Green Chapel" (lines 175-179).
King Arthur lifts the sword as to strike but Gawain steps in and claims it is his game to play.
"If the gift meant remaining alive, it might well be worth it; So he listened in silence and suffered the lady to speak, And she pressed the sash upon him and begged him to take it, And Gawain did, and she gave him the gift with great pleasure" (lines 230-233).
Gawain chops the Knight's head off but his body does not fall, instead he picks his head up and makes his request.
“That sash you wear by your scabbard belongs to me; My own wife gave it to you, as I ought to know. I know, too, of your kisses and all your words And my wife’s advances, for I myself arranged them. It was I who sent her to test you. I’m convinced You’re the finest man that ever walked this earth" (lines 336-341).
The Knight requests that Gawain meets him in a year to fulfill his end of the game.
Gawain meets a woman and explains his situation. She understands and gives him a sash of protection. They also exchange kisses as in forms of more protection over him.
The Green Knight slashes at Gawain's neck, but nothing more than a mere cut appears. The Green Knight had set him up, the lady Gawain met was his wife. The knight was testing Gawain, but he was able to pass.
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