Sir Gawain

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An unknown poet during the Medieval time period wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain is an Arthurian legend, a story about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, centered on the protagonist Sir Gawain. In the poem, a Green Knight comes to challenge the king, but Gawain decides to go in place of the king. Gawain makes a deal with the Green Knight. If he can’t kill the Green Knight then the knight gets to try to kill Gawain in one year. Gawain fails to kill the Green Knight. Gawain leaves the castle in search of the Green Knight, and he stops at a castle to stay for the three nights. Gawain and the king of the castle make a bargain to give each other everything they receive during each day. Gawain stays true to his compact until the last day. He keeps a “magic” green girdle for himself thinking that it will save him from death. When he meets the knight, he prepares to get cut by the Green Knight’s axe. The first two attempts fail to do any damage, but the third leaves a small cut. Gawain is shocked by what happened. The Green Knight explains that he is the king, and Gawain only got cut because he didn’t give the king the green girdle on the third day. Gawain vows to wear the girdle as a symbol of his sin. When he returns to Camelot, the rest of the knights wear a green sash so Gawain won’t feel as if he is the only one among them who has sinned.

Gawain wears the green sash as a reminder of his sin. Gawain says, “As a token of my trespass I shall turn to it often when I ride in renown, ruefully recalling the failure and the frailty of the flesh so perverse.”(98) This quotation means he will wear the sash always, and he will use it as a constant reminder of his sin, when he hid the green girdle from the king. “This is the token of the troth-breach that I am detected in, and need must I wear it while in the world I remain, for a man may cover his blemish, but unbind it he cannot, for where once ‘tis applied, thence part will...
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