In this passage of the story.......We find that Sir Gawain is feeling very melancholy and distraught over the events that have shaped the last year of his life. It is the Christmas season, and while most of his comrades at King Arthur's Court are enjoying the warm fires of their castles, he is trudging through the cold mud and muck of an uninviting wilderness. At the end of his journey he ultimately expects to meet certain death at the hands of the immortal Green Knight, and so alone except for his loyal horse Gringolet, Gawain in his hour of need turns to God for divine intervention:Click Here to Hear Gawain
No sooner has he made the sign of the cross to conclude his petition then before him appears the most wondrous sight. A great castle looms up where a moment before there were only stark mountains and dark mysterious woods. Gawain has never seen such a magnificent structure. In the center of a park more than two miles wide it stood, constructed of stone blocks that shimmered amid bright colored leaves that should not have been in bloom at that time of the year. There was a double moat surrounding immense battlements which had been fortified to withstand an assault from even the fiercest of invaders. Yet with all the barbicans of war there were also delicate spires rising in tiers amid elaborately ornamented gables. So perfect was the image of this estate that it reminded Gawain of "A castle cut for a king's feast".
He thanks God and St. Julian the patron saint of hospitality for his redemption from solitude, and approaches the castle over a strange bridge which hangs in the air. On the far side he is met by the most polite of porters. Humbly Gawain asks permission to enter the grounds in order to seek the lord of the castles hospitality. In a brilliant display of chivalry the portals of the castle are immediately thrown open and Gawain is warmly welcomed into a torrent of servants hastening to attend to his needs. With the greatest of respect they take care of his horse and armour as a stream of knights, nobles and squires escort him into a bright hall were he was set before the master of the house, the Lord Baron Bercilak de Hautdesert.
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