The Knight once again kneels before Gawain, who now decapitates him. The emphasis here is on the flawed hero, revealed to be fearful for his own life and willing to lie and deceive in order to keep it. Gawain spends most of the next year happy and finally embarks to find the Green Chapel where the Green Knight awaits him. Angrily Gawain tells him to deliver his blow and so the knight does, causing only a slight wound on Gawain's neck. Clearly, some magic is afoot.
Gawain dresses, then spends the day with her and the old lady. These divisions, however, have since been disputed; scholars have begun to believe that they are the work of the copyist and not of the poet. The lord proposes a game, moreover: as Gawain lounges inside by the fire all day, the lord will ride out to hunt. He finds the Green Knight sharpening an axe and, as promised, Gawain bends his bared neck to receive his blow. Relieved to be alive but extremely guilty about his sinful failure to tell the whole truth, Gawain wears the girdle on his arm as a reminder of his own failure.
Eventually Arthur agrees to play the game, but as he is about to wield the great battle-axe, Gawain speaks. Thus, the tale is told. Despite losing his head, the Green Knight does not lose his footing. Also present, but invisible to the rest, are Morgan Le Fay and Lady de Hautdesert, who are conspiring to bring down Arthur. Bertilak returns with his catch, giving it to Gawain.
This puts Gawain in a dilemma, with the conflict between obeying the commands of a lady and not committing adultery. The conditions will be that he, the Green Knight, will receive the first strike now, and then the challenger knight must agree to submit himself to receive one in exactly a year and a day. In and literature, green was traditionally used to symbolise nature and its associated attributes: fertility and rebirth. That evening, a delicious boar meal is exchanged for the two kisses Sir Gawain receives from Bertilak's wife that day. The Musical Times, 135 1817 : p. That night, when the lord returns, he gives Gawain the fox pelt, and Gawain gives the lord three kisses. He puts on his best armor, mounts his horse, Gringolet, and starts off toward North Wales, traveling through the wilderness of northwest Britain.
His major role in Arthurian literature is that of a judge and tester of knights, thus he is at once terrifying, friendly, and mysterious. A number of more modern works of romantic and adventure literature resemble Gawain in plot and theme. The lord sends a servant with him to show him the way and the pair soon arrive at a forest, where the servant tries to dissuade Gawain from facing the Green Knight. The second part of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight opens with a lush, detailed description of Nature and the passing of the year. Morgan le Fay in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Being seated among the most legendary figures of the table suggests that some potential for greatness or foreboding is being suggested by the poet.
In the end, Gawain evades the lady's amorous intentions, with only two kisses being exchanged. When Lancelot arrives, the people of the town celebrate and announce that they have finally found a true knight, because many others had failed this test of chivalry. So at Christmas in this court I lay down a challenge: if a person here present, within these premises, is big or bold or red blooded enough to strike me one stroke and be struck in return, I shall give him as a gift this gigantic cleaver and the axe shall be his to handle how he likes. The final day of the game dawns with a description of its brilliant, wintry beauty, and the hunting dogs fall on the trail of a cunning fox. In polite and self-effacing language, Gawain begs to take up the boon instead, so the life of the king can be spared in place of a knight as weak and lowly as he. Arthur is bored, and asks for someone to demonstrate his courage.
A strange meeting of violence and courtesy occurs here when both polite manners and readiness to battle are demanded by the chivalric code. It is one of the best known stories, with its plot combining two types of folklore motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings. In Hunbaut, Gawain cuts off a man's head and, before he can replace it, removes the magic cloak keeping the man alive, thus killing him. A guide accompanies him out of the estate grounds. Because of its connection with and spirits in early English folklore, green also signified , devilry and evil. Gawain is to view everything in Bertilak's home as if it were his own.
Gawain does so, showing that he understands what he is undertaking, and the knight politely thanks him for his daring. In the poem, Pearl, the not-two-year old child of Pearl's father has died and her father is deeply grieved at his loss. On Christmas Day, he prays to find a place to hear Mass, then looks up to see a castle shimmering in the distance. The knights of the round table decide to wear a similar belt in honor of Gawain, and it becomes a symbol of honor. The Green Chapel is thought to be in either or , as these areas closely match the descriptions given by the author. However, the Green Knight neither falls nor falters, but instead reaches out, picks up his severed head and remounts, holding up his bleeding head to Queen while its writhing lips remind Gawain that the two must meet again at the. Climax Gawain meets the Green Knight.