Gawain Passage Analysis

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written by an unknown author.It is considered as one of the most famous poem ever written in the Middle English period. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a story about a fearless and noble knight, Gawain, who tries to overcome the challenge of the Green Knight. The challenge of the Green Knight is more than just a game it is a test of Gawain’s character.

My assigned passage begins at the start of the third section in the poem. In the following passage, the honesty and the character of Sir Gawain are put to test by a lord named Bercilak. He decides to stay at Hautdesert until New Year’s day, since the Green Chapel is near the castle. The lord and Sir Gawain make a pact to truthfully exchange their earnings with each other. The lord will exchange whatever he wins on the hunt with whatever Gawain wins in the castle. The next day, Gawain rests comfortably in the castle while the lord and his men go out to hunt for the deer.

The poet describes the deer hunt in great detail. The deer the author says: "dashed through the dale, dazed with dread, Hastened to the high ground, only to be Turned back by the beaters, who boldly shouted." (Norton 226). The hunters shoot their arrows at the deer. The hunting horns, as the author describes: "Like the cracking of cliffs their cries resounded." (Norton 226). The hunting scene ends with the host leaping to and from his horse, bringing: "the day to the dark night." (Norton 226).

The poet next turns his attention to Gawain’s adventure at the castle. The knight is asleep in bed, but awakens to find the Lord’s lady entering the room. Seeing the lady enter the room, Gawain pretends to be asleep. The lady begins flirting with him, pointing out that they are all alone:

By lords and by ladies, by all living men;
And lo! We are alone here, and left to ourselves:
My lord and his liegemen are long departed,
The household asleep, my handmaids too, (Norton 227).

The lady offers herself to Gawain, but he fends her off politely. He tells the lady: "you are bound to a better man," (Norton 228). The following events are of great significance compared to the rest of the poem. Gawain’s seduction by the lord’s lady is his first test of character. Gawain has passed his first test of character. Gawain’s mind is not on the lady, but on the fate that awaits him at the Green Chapel. The lady’s seduction of Gawain serves as an indication of others tests to follow for Gawain in the near future.

Sir Gawain is indeed tested two more times in the castle. He passes his second by resisting the temptation of the lady. However, Gawain fail’s on his third and finally test when he accepts a green belt from the lady. Gawain accepts the belt because, the lady promises him that the belt is magical and will protect him from danger. He is unaware that he is being tested, instead Gawain thinks it is just a game. Eventually, Gawain’s acceptance of the belt will lave a permanent scar on his neck by the Green Knight. Gawain by failing the last test, has failed the test of character and truth. He no is more a perfect noble and truthful knight. Gawain has left the castle less perfect than when he came to the castle in the beginning.

Sir Gawain and the Green knight was written by an unknown author. The poem is filled with magic, romance and knightly adventure. It is a story about Sir Gawain, and his quest to find the Green Chapel and answer to the challenge of the Green Knight. During his, the Character of Sir Gawain his tested by the Green Knight. He fails his last test, and is no more perfect he is still a courageous, loyal knight, that kept his promise to King Arthur.