Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Hunt vs. Temptation: a Comparison

816 Words Dec 5th, 2005 4 Pages
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian poem; an enchanting story of chivalry, romance and heroism. With its intricately woven details, parallels and symbols, the reader will often easily overlook these facets in a story of this caliber. Undoubtedly, the author would not have spent time on details that do not add to the meaning of the overall telling of the story. The three hunting scenes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and in parallel, the three temptations, monopolize a considerable portion of the story. In a comparison of the three hunts and their corresponding temptations, we will see how the poet parallels these circumstances to emphasize the meaning of its symbolism.
In Medieval times, people believed many animals had
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Gawain, additional, is quick and must stay alert like the deer while avoiding the lady's advances. Both the first hunt and temptation have a light almost playful tone; however, in the second hunt for a boar, and the parallel temptation, there is a more aggressive mood.
On the second hunt, the boar, a more intimidating rival, continues for most of the day, to elude the huntsmen. The boar being more aggressive in nature advances on the men. They are wounded in pursuit of this prey. "Most grim when he grunted - then grieved were many,/ For three at the first thrust he threw to the earth,/" (3.1442-43). This ferocious animal is much more difficult to catch and kill. This is representative of Gawain's responses to the mounting advances of the lady. Likewise, Gawain, who is now waiting for the lady, is a more intimidating rival. He unfalteringly, but politely, resists her advances.
"Soon some have set off in pursuit of the fox,/" (3.1699). The fox, in many legends and fables, is known to be wily and cunning. On the third hunt, as the huntsmen pursue the fox, they call him a thief. "Here he was hailed, when huntsmen men him;/ Yonder they yelled at him, yapping and snarling;/ There they cried ‘Thief!' and threatened his life,/" (3.1723-25). They hunt him vigorously.
Symmetrically presented, parallel with the third hunt, is the third temptation. As the huntsmen vigorously chase the fox, so the lady
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