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4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight-PT 4.docx

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English 1022E
Nigmendra Narain

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -Part 4 Parallels –  Opens on New Years Eve  Puts back on his arms  Continues the quest in the wilderness Preparing to leave:  2035- G makes it clear he is not wearing the green silk because of its worth, only to keep him safe Enters the wasteland  There is a servant who warns G of the impending death o (2021) Promises not to tell anyone if he runs now; recommending he should  Gawain’s response : noble; he would be a coward if he turns back now o Ironic –we have already seen him be a coward with the lady (taking the silk)  2064 –Gawain is alone again  2156 –tells himself that he won’t cry and he’s leaving himself to God’s will (false as he’s trusting in the silk to protect him)  Gawain thinks the test is just about to begin, when in reality, the test has already happened and he failed. (the test in the bedroom)  2171 –G arrives at the Green Chapel; confused as it looks like a mount, not a chapel  2180 –mound of earth with a whole at one end, hollow like a cave, imagery –belongs to the devil, not to God; evil place; hideous prayer house  2200- Hears the sound of the axe being sharpened; feels hopeless  2213- “who has power in this place” just as the GK did in pt 1 when entering King Arthur’s cour  The GK “hurdles” out of nowhere and goes through the rules of the poem  2267 –G flinches slightly away from the axe o The GK mocks him  G rationalizes why he flinches –he will not live through the axe  The GK stops mid swing the second time; unnerving Gawain  The third strike –the GK gathers the axe and stops and just grazes Gawain’s neck o Only a little blood “lightly leapt to the earth”  Gawain stops the game and says the terms have been met  2358-the GK is actually the Lord of the castle in disguise; it was his belt (silk) that Gawain is wearing  3 strokes  The GK(LORD) used his wife (the lady) in the scheme  Gawain is the most perfect of men, but he lacks loyalty. o Little blood, little lacking in loyalty – o Failed in loyalty but not because he was cunning, or wanted to take the wife, but he loved his own life, the less then to blame
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