Essay on Temptation in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Temptation in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Gawain is a guest at Hautdesert Castle. During his stay at the castle, three separate hunts take place. These hunts also parallel temptations aimed at Gawain by the wife of the Lord of Hautdesert Castle. In each hunt scene, a characteristic of the prey of that hunt is personified in Gawain's defense against the advances of the Lord's wife. The first temptation of Gawain is perhaps the most difficult for him to defend. This temptation corresponds with the hunt scene involving a deer, In terms of the hunt, the deer is hunted because it is a staple of the diet, or it is something that satisfies a person. In the same manner, the…show more content…
This temptation corresponds with the hunt scene involving a boar. Boars are not so much hunted for food as they are for sport. A boar is a very unruly animal. It will attack any hunters viciously, and with reckless abandon. Successfully capturing a boar is a testament to the physical courage and strength of the hunter. In the second temptation, the Lord's wife appears to Gawain in the same voluptuous manner as she did on the previous day. But this time, Gawain does not attempt to avoid her advances. He is much more direct and confrontational with the lady. The lady also asks Gawain to tell her one of his war stories. Gawain refuses, on account that it would be boasting. He replies ... But for me to take on the travail of interpreting true love And construing the subjects of the stories of arms To you who, I hold, have more skill In that art, by half, than a hundred of such As I am or ever shall be on the earth I inhabit, Would in faith be a mani fold folly, noble lady. (1541-1545) Here, Gawain is definitely not trying to avoid the woman. It is almost as if the night has changed him, because something would have to account for this dramatic change of behavior. His behavior here is much like that of a boar. Where Gawain does not physically harm the lady as a boar may, he is, as stated before, much more frontal and direct in his dealings with her. In showing this self-confidence far the first time Gawain has finally indicated to the

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