Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Part 3 Summary

Third part describes lord and Sir Gawain's daily activities in a parallel. It starts with an early morning, when the lord and his courtiers get up and prepare for hunt. After attendance of mass, they have a breakfast and leave the court with hound dogs. It does not take long before they spot a deer in the woods and start chasing it. The author describes in great details the chase, deer's slay and overall turmoil in the process of hunting.


Meanwhile, Sir Gawain sleeps in his warm chamber, oblivious to the bloodshed in the woods. He almost falls into another doze when he hears light noise coming from the door of his room. Curious to see who is coming, he peeks from behind of his curtain and spots Lord's wife coming up to his bed. Confused by her presence as well as curious to learn the reason of her visit, he pretends to be asleep. The lady takes a bold step and not only does she comes near to the bed, she even lifts up the curtain and sits in the bed waiting for Sir Gawain to wake up. He realizes that he will find out more when he "wakes up," so he opens his eyes, stretches as if he has just woke up, and pretends to be in disbelief of the sight before his eyes, crossing himself with hands. The lady laughs at his reaction and jokes about his long sleep. He asks her to leave the room so that he can put his clothes on, but she is determined to spend alone time with him and refuses to do so, promising that everything will remain hidden from the rest of the court. Sir Gawain is flattered by the lady's sweet talk but remains defensive during the conversation until she accuses him of not being the real Gawain, since he wouldn't allow her to leave without a kiss. To assure her that he is not a fake, he allows her one kiss. Then he goes to mass and continue to enjoy the lavish lifestyle of the court.


Meanwhile, in the woods, the lord hunts animals. The author grant us with many gruesome details of mutilation. At the dawn the hunt is over and so the lord and his escort, along with the hunting dogs return home. Happy to see Gawain, the lord hands him the meat he prepared as a prize, and Gawain gives him a kiss in return, as they agreed before. The lord is amused by this and asks where have he got the kiss, but Gawain replies that it was never part of the deal to say where or how. The lord agrees and asks no more questions. Instead, they make the same agreement for the following day and go to bed.


The following lines describe another lord's chase. This time he chases a truculent boar that doesn't give up on life that easy and attacks his hunters. Back in the castle the lady keeps visiting Sir Gawain secretly, always in a mood for flirty conversation. Her attempts to pull him into love affair remain futile. Her greatest achievement for that evening are two kisses she gives him before her husband comes back from hunt.


Later that night, the lord and Sir Gawain exchange their winnings for the day- Sir Gawain gets a boar and the lord gets two kisses in return. They end the day in high spirits, chatting and singing. The lord proposes the same game in the New Year 's Eve, but Gawain shares his concerns that he might be late for the meeting with the Green Knight. The lord encourages him to stay by saying: "Make we merry while we may, and be joyful:


for a man can catch trouble whensoever he likes."


The next day brings another story from the woods, where the lord and his men chase a fox. The lord finds the hunt to be exciting, he enjoys listening to hounds and takes a pleasure in chasing animals. At the castle Sir Gawain continues seeing the young lady while the lord is away. This time she comes to his room while he is really asleep and wakes him up from the difficult dream about the green chapel. Sir Gawain is truly pleased to see her and they start chatting as they always do. The young lady asks him to give her some love tokens, but he decisively refuses, saying "...to exchange with you love-tokens, that would profit but little." The lady is persistent in the idea of exchanging love tokens, so she offers him a ring, which Sir Gawain refuses once again because it seems very expensive. She offers him the only cheap thing she has, a green girdle that seems ordinary but actually has magical powers. Thinking that he may have a use of it during the reencounter with the Green Knight, Sir Gawain finally gives in, allowing her to give him a token. Afterwards Sir Gawain goes to confession to ease his soul and returns to the castle and have a great time with ladies.


When the lord finally arrives home, he exchanges his gifts with Sir Gawain and they continue to have a great time together since not much time has left before Gawain's departure. The lord assigns a servant to direct Sir Gawain to the Green chapel as he promised, and they all go to bed. The author cannot say whether Gawain truly slept that night.




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