A Host's Hospitality Essay

A Host's Hospitality Essay

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A Host's Hospitality

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an epic written in fourteenth century by a contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer, we learn about a knight and his quest. Sir Gawain, sworn to seek the Green Knight as part of a deal, first finds himself in an enchanted and beautiful forest and then ushered into a beautiful castle of Bercilak, its host. Bercilak's court seems so like Arthur's that it appears to offer Gawain a familiar refuge in alien territory. The orderliness and beauty of the forest and the castle recall the civilized world of Arthur's court. Gawain is welcomed as warmly as if he has arrived at Camelot. The abundant hospitality and congeniality of the host and servants are clear in this scene, and they put Gawain at ease. First, the porter at Bercilak's castle assures Gawain that "a noble knight such as he will not want for a welcome"(SGGK l. 814). Next, the host welcomes him whole-heartedly and lays all that he owns at Gawain's disposal. He also sends a servant to see to Gawain's needs, makes sure he slips into something more comfortable, rests and eats.

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