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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Summary

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Part 4, Lines 1998 - 2211 Summary Page 1

  • It's the morning of New Year's Day, and there's a winter storm going on outside. The sky is dumping snow.
  • Gawain lies in bed, thinking of his upcoming task.
  • Gawain gets up and dresses in warm clothing, his mail-shirt, and armor. The servants have taken care of his clothes and gear, so everything looks shiny and new.
  • Before he leaves, Gawain ties on the lady's green girdle, hoping it will save his life today.
  • Gawain goes outside and finds that his trusty steed, Gringolet, has been well taken care of. The knight is very thankful for the kind and courteously treatment he has received in the lord's castle.
  • Gawain mounts his horse and declares his wish that this castle always have good luck. Then he leaves with his guide to go find the Green Chapel.
  • The journey is slow and treacherous, but the guide brings Gawain close to the stop. He won't join Gawain all the way and thinks Gawain should turn back.
  • He warns that the man who lives at the Green Chapel is powerful and ruthless; he strikes deathblows upon anyone who enters his land. He'll kill anyone, even a priest.
  • The guide again begs Gawain to turn back. He assures the knight that he'll never tell anyone that Gawain turned and fled.
  • Gawain thanks the guide, but he's determined to go meet the Green Knight. He refuses to be a coward, and instead trusts in God to protect him.
  • The guide gives Gawain directions for the last leg of his journey. He wishes Gawain luck and then returns to the castle.
  • Gawain rides on and finds himself in a wilderness, with no sign of buildings anywhere, only high hills on both sides and rugged crags of gnarled stones. He definitely doesn't see a chapel, only a little mound, a barrow by a stream.
  • Gawain examines the barrow. It seems to be hollow inside.
  • He's confused. It doesn't look like a chapel, and now he's worried that it might be an evil place, a chapel where the devil goes to say his prayers. Gawain is sure that it's a cursed church.
  • Gawain climbs to the top of the barrow. From there he hears a loud noise coming from behind a rock, in a bank beyond the brook.
  • Boom! It clatters on the cliff as if it will break it, as if someone were sharpening a scythe on a grindstone.
  • Gawain assumes that the loud noises are meant to be a greeting for him. He says to himself, "May God’s will be done."
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