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Published byMaryann Garrison Modified over 7 years ago
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 12 th grade
So what kind of story is this? It’s a ROMANCE (but not like the movie The Notebook or Sweet Home Alabama). MEDIEVAL ROMANCE: Idealized or larger-than-life characters A hero who faces a challenge or test Exotic settings and supernatural or magical events Hidden or mistaken identity
Main Characters… King Arthur (ever heard of him?): Legendary king of Britain Husband of Guinevere Uncle of Gawain Over the famous Knights of the Round Table at Camelot Brave, courageous, chivalrous
Main Characters… Sir Gawain: Arthur’s nephew and one of the most loyal, brave knights Follows the chivalrous code (humility, piety, integrity, loyalty, honesty) Courtly lover One flaw: loves his life so much that he will lie to protect it (obviously breaking the code)
Main Characters… The Green Knight: Yes…he is a green man. Huge guy with big muscles/carries a huge axe Says he comes in friendship but proposes that someone step forward to play the “beheading game.” Expects the knights to be courageous and step forward to play.
Other Characters… Lord and Lady of the castle where Gawain stays for Christmas (The lady tries to seduce Gawain every day he is there.) Queen Guinevere: Arthur’s wife and queen
What’s the story? Arthur and his noble knights are feasting during the new year holidays in Camelot. A big green stranger with a big green horse and axe shows up Arthur welcomes him to the party Green knight proposes a challenge: Since he’s heard about the bravery and chivalry of Arthur’s men, he challenges them to strike him with his axe, to be repaid with a strike in one year’s time.
What’s the story? Part 2 All the knights are stunned by the proposal Arthur accepts (kind of begrudgingly) Sir Gawain steps up, reasoning that Arthur is too important to play this game, in case it’s a trick. Sir Gawain grabs the axe, and cuts off the Green Knight’s head. Green Knight tells Gawain to come find him in one year at the Green Chapel, and picks up his head and leaves.
What’s the story? Part 3 At the end of the year, Gawain keeps his word and sets off for the Green Chapel Travel-worn and weary, He stops at a castle to rest. Lord of the castle welcomes him, but strikes a deal: Each day the lord will go hunting, and exchange his catch for whatever Gaiwain finds around the castle.
What’s the story? Part 4 Day 1 – Lord goes out to hunt, Lady (lord’s wife) attempts to seduce Gaiwain, but only gets a kiss. Lord returns with venison, Gaiwain kisses him and takes it. Day 2 – Same thing, Lady kisses Gaiwain twice. Gaiwain gives lord two kisses for boar meat. Day 3 – Same thing, but Lady kisses Gaiwain 3 times, and gives him a green sash that protects the wearer from death. Gaiwain kisses the lord 3 times, but lies about the sash.
What’s the story? Part 5 Wearing the sash, Gaiwain finds the Green Knight. Gaiwain is nervous, jumpy, reflexively fearful Green Knight pretends to strike him with the axe twice, then nicks Gaiwain on the third strike. Green Knight didn’t kill Gaiwain with the first two swings because he acted chivalrously and resisted temptation from the lady of the castle. The Green Knight nicked Gaiwain the third time for lying about the sash. Gaiwain is disgraced by his fear and cowardice.
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