Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:
Sir Gawain Faces Temptation
Sir Gawain was known as a noble and honest man who was willing to stare death in the face to protect King Arthur. However, the courtly Sir Gawain is submitted to the unexpected—not to the test he expects, but to one he does not expect (qtd. in Spearing). The underlying theme throughout the entire poem is temptation, which, is Sir Gawain’s greatest challenge because he is not aware of it.
He faltered not nor feared
But quickly went his way,
His road was rough and weird,
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The opposition between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight began when the knight entered the kings hall on New Years Eve. He challenged anyone present to strike him with an axe, providing that he could do the same one-year later. Gawain, not wanting the King to partake in such a game, takes up the challenge and cuts off the Green Knight’s
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head. The knight then, picks up his head, and tells Gawain to meet him at the Green Chapel in one year.
Gawain goes searching for the Green Chapel ten months later. He stays at a nearby castle for Christmas and New Years, entertained by the Lord’s wife. At the end of each day Gawain was to exchange with the lord whatever he had gained.
While the Lord is off hunting, his wife, “attempts his [Gawain’s] chastity” (Stone 11). However, the wife can do no more than kiss Gawain, for he would not allow it. The wife of the Lord tries one more time to seduce the noble knight in his bed. This time she is dressed much more provocatively. Gawain, amazed at her appearance, says: “God love you gracious lady” (Norton 234). Further, he is happy that a very beautiful woman like the Lord’s wife spends time talking with him: “it is a pleasure surpassing… it comforts my hurt”
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