Eng1020E October 13, 2011
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Continued)
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