Writing an Essay on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the Heroes Journey
During a new year’s festivals at King Arthur’s court, a strange new figure, referred as the Green Knight, visits the court unexpectedly. He challenges all the group leaders or any other brave being to a game. He says that he will allow anybody who accepts the challenge to strike him using his own axe, on the condition that the challenger will find him in a years time span to receive a blow in return. Arthur, a King, among others vacillates to respond, but when the Green Knight jeeringly mocks King Arthur’s silence, the King courageously steps out to take the challenge. He holds an axe and in one in one fierce blow, he cuts the Knight’s head off. To the amazement of the present and the court, the headless Knight picks up his severely cut head and before taking off, the head repeats the terms of the agreements, reminding Gawain to look for him after a year and at the Green chapel. The Green Knight leaves and the company resume back to the festivals but Gawain is uneasy (Bloom 9).
The time passes and autumn arrives. On the All Saint day, Gawain prepares to leave Camelot to go find the Green Knight. He mounts his horse after putting on his best armor, and starts off towards north Wales. He travels through the northwest Britain wilderness where he encounters all sorts of beasts, suffering from hunger and cold, growing more desperate as days pass by. On a Christmas day, he prays lord to find a temple to attend a mass then he sees a castle glittering in a distance. The castle’s lord welcomes him warmly and introduces him to his lady and to an old lady sitting beside her (Bloom 67). The host, Bertilak strikes a deal with Gawain that; the host will go out hunting with his servants daily, and whenever he comes back in the evening, he exchanges his winnings for anything that Gawain has managed to get by staying in the castle. Naively Gawain accepts the pact and goes to bed.
On the first day, the lord who is the castle lord hunts a herd of does, as Gawain is sleeping late in his bedroom. On morning, the first morning, the lord’s wifely secretly sneaks into Gawain’s chamber and tries to seduce him. Gawain turns her down but she manages to steal a kiss from him. The same evening the host offers Gawain the wild venison he has got for the day, Gawain in turn kisses him, just as he stole one kiss from the lady. The second day, the castle host hunts down a wild boar. Gawain gives the host two kisses since that day the woman sneaked too and stealing two kisses (Bloom 112).
On the third day, the host lord hunts down a fox and the hosts lady kisses sir Gawain three times. She goes further to ask for a love token such as a glove or a ring. Gawain rejects to offer or to accept anything from her until the lady discloses her girdle. She has a green silk girdle around her waist that protects one from death once worn. Fascinated, Gawain accepts the cloth, but when his host asks for exchange, Gawain gives him three kisses but does not mention anything about the green girdle. The host in turn gives Gawain a fox skin he got on that day and all go to bed happily. Gawain must leave to and find the green Knight in green chapel (Bloom 151).
A new year arrives and Gawain takes his amour, not leaving the girdle behind, the leaves with Gringolet looking for Green Knight. He is accompanied by a guide out of the estate grounds. On reaching the border of the forest, the guide promises never to disclose to any one that Gawain decides to give up the fight. Gawain rejects determined to encounter his headless fate. All of a sudden he comes across a sort of a crevice rock, visible on tall grasses (Bloom 183). A whirling sound of a grind stone scares him. In suspicion and fright he calls out and indeed the Green Knight emerges and greats him. As per the terms Gawain presents his neck to Knight, who feigns two blows on the third one, the Green Knight nicks Gawain’s neck, hardly drawing any blood. Gawain shouts in anger that their contract has been met only for the Green Knight to laugh.
Lastly the Green Knight reveals his real name as Bertilak and explains how he is the owner of the castle that Gawain was residing. Lastly through Bertilak, Gawain comes to notice that the old woman at the castle is his aunt and King Arthur’s half sister. Much relieved to be alive, Gawain feels extremely guilty of not telling the whole story and wears a girdle on his arm symbolizing his failure. He then returns to Arthur’s court and all Knights wears girdles to show their support to him (Bloom 214).
Bloom, Harold. The heros journey. New York: InfoBase Publishing, 2009. Print.