| Quote #4
So many wonders befell him in the hills,
The Middle English word this passage uses to describe the beasts with which Gawain meets, "mervayl," (translated here as ‘wonders’) is one often used to describe supernatural happenings. And indeed, some of the animals Gawain meets with, like dragons and ogres, might be considered part of the supernatural world. But intermixed with them are real animals like bears and wolves, suggesting that in the world of the poem, nature is just as alien and marvelous to the civilized world of King Arthur’s court as apparitions from the land of fairy.
| Quote #5
[…] Fighting troubled him less than the rigorous winter,
The fact that the cold winter weather troubles Gawain even more than the fierce beasts with which he battles emphasizes the precariousness of a man’s position when forced to endure the elements without the protection of walls and a fire. Gawain’s suffering in the open wilderness helps us to appreciate the contrast represented by the civilized and fire-lit halls of Arthur and the Bertilak.
| Quote #6
By the time the first glimmers of daylight appeared
The medieval hunt was an event that depended upon the cooperation of animals to bring down other animals. Here, the huntsmen "uncouple," or loose, their hounds, inciting them to pick up the scent of the prey with their horn-blasts. Mounted, the huntsmen depend upon their horses to follow the hounds. This scene, then, emphasizes the close relationship between the hunters and their animals as they ride out in pursuit of their prey.