In this passage taken from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Lines 1623-1718, the reader sees how Sir Gawain is the hero of the poem, through the tests of the host. Sir Gawain is speaking to the host of the castle where he is staying for a few days before journeying on to the Green Chapel. The host has just returned from hunting and killing some boar. While the host is out hunting for the boar, we learn that Sir Gawain is developing a love interest in a special lady friend, the wife of the host, who makes several attempts to seduce him. Before this hunt, Gawain and the host make a promise to each other that they will exchange whatever they may win that day for the other's winnings. The host gives Sir Gawain the boar in exchange for two kisses. Then the host says to Sir Gawain "Now we are even" (Norton, 236, line 1641.) There is a vivid description of the meal that follows, as well as the singing of Christmas songs. Then Gawain tells the host that he should be on his way to the Green Chapel to face the Green Knight. The host comments on the fact that he has tested Gawain twice and is quite impressed with his performance. The host then tells Gawain about the third test. In the test, the winner will take all, and the loser takes nothing. Gawain thinks this is all just a game and doesn't realize that it is actually a test. Sir Gawain later decides that he will stay, after learning from the host that the Green Chapel is not too far away from the castle. He has some more drinks with the host. After this, he goes to bed and gets the best night's rest, and is up early the next morning. That morning, the host hunts for some fox as Gawain lies in bed. The passage ends with a description of how the host an...
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...n suffers a wound to his neck. But, that does not stop him. He points out to the Green Knight that he is not immortal as the Green Knight is. The wound in his neck shows this. Unlike the Green Knight, Sir Gawain cannot just put his head back on his head. This also shows that he is a hero. He is not a "superman" like the Green Knight appears to be. He can die, and he still risks his life in fighting the Green Knight.
In conclusion, this passage taken from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight shows the reader how brave Sir Gawain really is. Here, the reader sees that Gawain is ready and able to face any challenge and obstacle that cross his path. Rather, he approaches these challenges and obstacles with the utmost bravery that a true hero can have.
Abrams, M. H. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1993.
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