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Lecture 9

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English 1022E
Lorraine Dicicco

Eng1020E October 13, 2011 Lecture 9 TOPIC Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Continued) Fit 4  Gawain struggles with insomnia due to anxiety and psychological turmoil.  He is forced to arm himself both physically and psychologically. His dressing is ironic because he is arming for the test, but it has actually already occurred (and he failed it).  Is sure to wear the green girdle – so that he will be spared death.  He is described as a bold knight, yet really he is a coward in the face of death (he trusts solely in the “power” and superstition of an object.  Gawain is provided with a servant to assist him in escorting him to the green chapel.  The servant tells Gawain that this chapel is the worst place to go and that he would tell no one if Gawain fled (save him from embarrassment or shame).  Gawain is yet again tempted. This time to flee. Yet he proclaims that he will NOT be a coward. (But is still trusting in the green girdle).  Hard „k‟ and „n‟ sounds provide a sense of the chapel as being chaotic.  The Chapel is not what Gawain anticipated – it appears to be a place like hell with chaos, terror, and raw/natural chaos.  Gawain tries to act brave and does not let anything scare him. He cries out to the Knight and wants to get it over with (he is anxious).  He has been in the wasteland since he left Arthur‟s castle, as he has been under constant testing the entire time.  Green Knight (associated with energy and nature) vs. Gawain (lazing around the castle).  The Knight is impressed by Gawain‟s commitment, honour, and integrity – impressed that he showed up.  The Knight mocks Gawain when he flinches and calls him a coward. This irritates Gawain and he says that he won‟t flinch again. Although he is supposed to believe that he will survive – as the knight did – he truly believes he will die.  The second time, Gawain stays perfectly
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