SparkNotes: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Character List

The Rise of Sir Gawain was anonymous Latin romance, written in the mid-13th century
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SparkNotes: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Key Facts

The Green Knight, “otherworldly, yet flesh / and bone,” presents a startling challenge: he will endure one blow without offering resistance, but whoever deals it must promise to receive a reciprocal blow in a year and a day. Sir Gawain, nephew of King Arthur, rises to the challenge and beheads the stranger in one stunning strike. Then the Knight stands, picks up his head, and reminds Gawain to meet him at the appointed time. Thereafter Gawain, a bewildered southern innocent (he tells Arthur he is “weakest of your warriors and feeblest of wit”), honors his pledge to seek the Green Knight out and journeys into harsh northern terrain. A year of adventures ensues — an adulterous seduction, a series of graphically violent hunts, a meeting with the Green Knight in a green chapel — that constitutes the moral test and vision of the poem.

Sir Gawain saw one whole side of that strongholdas it shimmered and shone through the shaking leaves.
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse …

But truly, I can turn now to my table and feast;as my word is good, I have witnessed a wonder."He turned to Sir Gawain and tactfully said,"Hang up your ax; it has cut all it can."It was attached to a tapestry above the high tablefor all men to marvel on who might see it there,as a true token of a tale of wonder.

(30)So this rider rode through the realm of Britain,Sir Gawain in God's service: and to him it was no game.
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Therefore sir, as you see, I must set out nowfor I doubt that three days will do for this businessand I'd far rather die than be doomed to fail."Then the lord answered, laughing, "You must linger now!""You will get to your goal in good enough time,and can give up guessing on what ground it lies,and can lie abed as late as you wish,and finally set forth the first of the year,yet make it there with morning still mostly leftthat day -- spend till New Years as you please, then rise and ride that way; We'll guide you there with ease -- it's not two miles away." (44)Then gaiety filled Gawain, and he gladly laughed.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A verse translation of the medieval alliterative romance.
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