The tale begins with the court enjoying a feast during the Christmas season. A strange man, a knight that is green, appears asking a knight to play a Christmas game with him. He questions their courage and points out the court’s “big-mouth bragging” (line 312) when no knight steps forward. When the king volunteered to play the game one of his loyal knights stepped forward, Sir Gawain, because “five things meant more to Gawain than to most other men” (654-655). The five things: friendship, fraternity, purity, politeness, and purity are how chivalry is measured in the court (651-654). The Green Knight establishes the game so that “the terms of the contest are crystal clear” (394). Sir Gawain will strike the Green Knight on the neck with his sword and in a year the Green Knight will return the blow. Sir Gawain delivers the blow and the Green Knight simply places his severed head back on his neck. ...
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...me wears the girdle as a badge of his failure. He fails in one aspect as he is only a man who carried out the deed and repented, and was absolved twice, for breaking his word. He is remorseful which proves he is conscious of the knight’s code. This allows him to maintain his chivalry. The court received him with joy and wore girdles as well as a sign of solidarity.
After a year long battle against exterior and interior forces Sir Gawain came out a noble man. He made a mistake taking the girdle as any man does, but found penitence. He completed the journey with the pentangle as a guide, making up his strong Christian values and loyalty to the court and its ideals. The chivalric code was interpreted differently by the wife of Bertilak, but he remained unchanged using his faith a protector. He came out an honest man who completed the game maintaining the court’s honor.
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