Study Guide

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Part 3, Lines 1690 - 1892

By Anonymous

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Part 3, Lines 1690 - 1892

  • You know the drill: in the morning, the lord and his men go hunting.
  • This time the hounds catch the scent of a fox and rush after him.
  • The fox is wily and leads the lord and his huntsmen on a grand old chase over hills and dales all afternoon.
  • Meanwhile, Gawain sleeps deeply in his cozy room.
  • The lady wakes up early and heads to Gawain's room, as usual. She sets to teasing him immediately, and they playfully banter.
  • She's dressed quite seductively this morning and even lies next to him in the bed.
  • The narrator basically says that the lady is ambushing him and pushing him toward danger. Soon he'll be forced to either accept her love or rudely reject her. Gawain really doesn't want to be a traitor to the lord, who has been so generous to him, but we also know that Gawain really values being courteous and polite to ladies.
  • The lady is really cranking up the heat, and wants to know why he doesn't want her. Does he have some other lover that he prefers?
  • Gawain says that he doesn't have a lover, nor does he want one right now.
  • The lady is upset and asks for another kiss before leaving. He agrees.
  • Before she goes, she says that she wants a gift from him, to remember him by. Gawain says that he's on a quest and hasn't brought anything with him that would make a worthy love-token.
  • The lady wants to give him a parting gift anyway. She offers him one of her expensive rings, which he refuses since he can give her nothing in return. She presses him, but he swears to never accept it.
  • She's upset, but tries to offer him something less expensive, in case that's what's bothering him. She offers him the green silk girdle (a belt) that she's wearing.
  • He refuses again. The lady presses him again. She says that the person who wears the green girdle can't be killed.
  • Well, now that's interesting.
  • Gawain thinks about his impending encounter with the Green Knight, and decides to let the lady wrap her girdle around him.
  • She tells him never to take it off, and not to let the lord know about the girdle. It has to be their little secret. Gawain agrees.
  • At this point, the lady has kissed Gawain three times today.
  • She leaves and Gawain gets dressed.
  • He heads to the chapel and confesses his sins to a priest. The priest absolves him of his sins, which is good, since Gawain probably thinks he's going to die tomorrow.
  • Gawain feels much better and has a great time for the rest of the day. Everyone who sees him thinks that he's the happiest he's been since he arrived.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Part 3, Lines 1690 - 1892 Study Group

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