Sir Gawain: Part 3 October 16, 2012
The Three Hunts:
-splicing between the hunts and the bedroom (castle)
-gets more difficult daily (both for Gawain to refuse the lady and for the Lord to hunt)
-- a quest within a quest
The first hunt:
-The king is described with action verbs: “mounted and ready”; one with the vigilant nature of
the animals in the forest
The king does not kill just anything, only the ones in season. Does not kill the male deer as
respect for the nature. Hunts carefully, exhibits aristocracy. Follows civil laws
1165: easily kill the deer (female); use archery.
First Bedroom scene:
Gawain sleeps in –stillness. Non-action verbs
1183—G hears a noise at the door; pretends to be asleep; peaks out and sees the lady of the
1179—“Gawain the good man”
Ironic—Gawain hides from the lady pretending to be asleep because he doesn’t know what to
say to her, although he is a great man known for love
Woman is the hunter (LORD) and Gawain is like the Deer. Easy target.
“Fair and fresh as the flowers of spring.” –describes Gawain as young and just starting to
o Maybe no sexual experience? In spite of his reputation.
The lady very easily moves in (line 1215)
o Easy easy easy
o She is the aggressor
1219-“let your prisoner rise” “you shall not rise from your bed” –lady is dominating. He is not
allowed to move.
1237 –lady offers him her body “your each wish to fulfill”
1226, 1251-1255 – she strokes his ego
1280 –all talk, no action
o They talk until noon hour, but nothing more than talking
1300 –lady is insulted that he hasn’t made a move.
o “what would a model knight have done”
o At least have claimed a kiss
Finally G agrees to kiss her, she goes for the kiss and SHE is the aggressor, not him.
1311 –the Lady leaves, he gets dressed and goes to mass
o Glad to go to mass as he didn’t do anything wrong
o Passes day one “dodges the bullet”
The First Exchange
1395 –the kiss is given, everyone is happy.
No severe incident with the first exchange The Second Hunt
1438-The boar makes “a murderous rush”
o Has been separated from the herd; fierce, savage, desperate
The arrows don’t pierce the skin of the tough skin of the boar
Longer hunt than the deer
o 1467-Lord pursues the boar until “sunlight slanted”
o As the sun is going down. Taking all day!
Boar is called a renegade –loner
Boar is exhausted as it is about to be killed, must be stabbed in the heart with a sword (1594)
The Second Bedroom Scene
G is also a loner in this place
The lady enters early again (as the lord leaves early to hunt)
o At him with all her art –tempting him.
o Guile in heart –sly and cunning intelligence
Gawain breaks from his covers as the boar did