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Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is a poem of heroism, chivalry, brave knights and romance.

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Introduction

Veronica Leturia April 3, 2003 Medieval English Literature Dr. Paul Oppenheimer Sir Gawain And The Fox Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is a poem of heroism, chivalry, brave knights and romance. The longest section of the poem are the hunting scenes. These scenes are the most engaging part of the poem, besides the fact that they are so detailed you draw parallels between the animals and the protagonist. Here we will consider the symbolism and importance of the hunting scenes and how they help develop and enhance the plot. The three hunting scenes in Sir Gawain are told in great detail. The author describes the light of the morning and all the surroundings, the bright sun and the green trees. The description of the animals movements paint a clear picture in your head as you read. Throughout medieval literature animals have held significant meanings, they are an important part of the story. The description of the animals characteristics made the story much more appealing and enjoyable to read. ...read more.

Middle

The fox led the hunters on a chase lasting through the afternoon and while this was happening the lady appears to Gawain again. Since her previous attempts to seduce Gawain have been unsuccessful she takes drastic action to seduce. She appears to him in a dress that reveals her chest and her back. The lady has now dropped all pretenses and in effect is moving in for the kill. She is as intent upon her prey as Bercilak upon his. Bercilak's pursuit of his quarry becomes a commentary on the lady's pursuit of Gawain. Gawain's skillful replies become meaningful as the desperate fox finally attempts to escape through trickery only to run upon Bercilak's waiting sword. Gawain successfully rebuffs her sexual advances, but she insists on giving him a gift. The first gift offered is a gold ring, which Gawain refuses twice. Then she says she will give him her girdle, which he should accept since it has magical properties. The lady explains to him that when he wars this belt nothing will happen to him he can not be killed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, the green chapel, which is covered in vines can be seen as both a place of natural worship and a symbol of the knight's link to earth. So the constant referral to green can be seen as a conflict between Christianity and Paganism. Since the scenes of Bercilak's hunt and those with Gawain and the lady in the bedroom are the longest sections of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it seems obvious we are meant to draw some kind of connection between them. The hunt being seen as a reflection of the occurrences in the bedroom, and each animal representing Gawain each day seems clear. These considerations of the symbols and patterns in the hunt scene are just a small part of what the poem contains. The hunt scenes are especially important to the plot of the poem. The writer had direct meaning in them to enhance and explain the plight of Sir Gawain. Without the parallel hunt and temptation scenes the poem would be lacking in depth and the challenge of Sir Gawain would not be as dramatically important. ...read more.

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