It’s Christmas Eve afternoon at King Arthur’s court, and the Knights and Ladies are gathering up to celebrate the Holiday. Meanwhile, King Arthur is resisting to eat until he witnesses some excellent action, or hears about a great adventure. After everyone sits down to eat, out of nowhere barges in a gigantic Green Knight riding upon a gigantic Green Horse.
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The Green Knight announces to everyone that he’s here to challenge the boldest legendary knight. He states, I will take a single axe-blow from the hands of one Knight, as long as that Knight agrees to meet me in a year and a day to receive an axe-blow in return.(Gardner) To be direct, he wants to specifically call out King Arthur to the challenge. Although, before King Arthur could even make the first move, his nephew, Sir Gawain volunteered as tribute. Sir Gawain says, It’s shameful for the the King to participate in such a foolish game.(Gardner)
The Challenge is on, Sir Gawain strikes the Green Knight with the axe, completely taking his head from over his shoulders. The Green Knight unbelievably remains alive, and picks up his own head turning to the court, and telling Sir Gawain, Meet me at the Green Chapel in a year and a day.(Gardner) As the season went by, and now that it’s, Sir Gawain heads out to find the Green Chapel. Along his pathway, travelling upon enchanted lands, he battled with some monsters, and took on the extreme weather. Sir Gawain suddenly rode abroad a protected castle in the enchanted forests. As he arrives, he recieves a warm greeting from the Lord and his gorgeous Lady.
After Sir Gawain , and the Lord feast for Christmas, they’ve come to an agreement. The Lord says, By the end of the day, we both will exchange what we’ve earned.(Gardner) In the morning , the Lord rides out, leaving Sir Gawain sleeping in late. Sir Gawain is awaken by the Lady of the castle, provoking him to show he’s the great Knight she’s heard of. The Lady’s seducing actions results in the both of them exchanging kisses. Everytime the Lord returns home, Sir Gawain exchanges the kisses he receives from the Lord’s Lady with the different animals the lord went out to hunt, such as the deer in dressing, boar, and fox.
During the last game, the Lady presents a Green Girdle to Sir Gawain saying, The Green Girdle will make you invincible against the Green Knight.(Gardner) However, Sir Gawain breaks the rules, and doesn’t except the exchange. While this is occurring, the Lord is returning home for the end of the day. The next morning, Sir Gawain take his path to the Green Chapel being led by the guide. The guide is trying to get Sir Gawain to reconsider his choice because, the guards are very dangerous.
As Sir Gawain reaches the clearing, all he sees is a small mound that has grass on it. With his assumptions, he believes this may be the Green Chapel. He suddenly hears the screeches of someone sharpening a blade, and with his curiosity, he calls out to them to see whom they may be. The Green Knight approaches with his axe. The Green Knight congratulates Sir Gawain for sticking to his words. In this moment, the challenge goes on.
The Green Knight goes for his first hit, but he hesitates because Sir Gawain flinches. The Knight points out that Gawain is being a sissy. After Gawain promises to not flinch, the Knight goes for a second hit, but stops again just to test and see if Sir Gawain was ready. At last, the Green Knight goes for the third hit, and the axe tears Sir Gawain’s skin, but doesn’t make him decapitate. In sudden laughter, the Green Knight finally reveals that he is Lord Bertilak behind this whole situation. He explained to Gawain that the first few blows were for the way he kissed his wife, and the last was for the negligent way of the green girdle. The Green Knight has his way and forgives Sir Gawain, leaving him with only a scar and the girdle.
Hence the trickery, Sir Gawain learns that the Lord is actually Lord Bertilak, and gets his powers from Morgan le Fay, who’s Gawain’s Aunt. She sent the Lord to test Arthur’s honor of the knights, and frighten the Queen Guinevere. Sir Gawain refuses any further hospitality, and makes his way to Arthur’s Court. He goes on and tell about his adventure, and makes it known he will forever wear the Green Girdle.
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