Parallel Between ‘Hunt For Gawain’ and ‘Sir Gawain And The Green Knight’

Gawain stays in Lord Bercilak’s castle and Bercilak decides to go hunting for three days. Bercilak made a bargain with Gawain and so everything Bercilak kills on the hunt will be given to Gawain. In return, Gawain would give to Lord Bercilak everything that he gets from Lady Bercilak. “‘Whatever I earn in the woods will be yours, whatever you win will be mine in exchange. Shall we swap our day’s work, Gawain?’” They make this bargain for the following three days and what happens on both sides of the bargain affect the outcome of the previous game that Gawain plays with the Green Knight.

In the game that Gawain plays with the Green Knight, the Green Knight offered to accept a blow from an ax if he was allowed to do the same to Gawain a year later. This Game is almost a parallel to the bargain between Bercilak and Gawain. Whatever Gawain and Bercilak does during the bargain affects what happens in the game.

In the game the Green Knight went first. He took a blow from the ax and had his head chopped off. He did not flinch or hesitate. This reflects on the honesty of Lord Bercilak. In the bargain, Bercilak is true to his word and hands over all of his winnings from the hunt to Gawain. He doesn’t hesitate and he gives over all of his winnings to Gawain each of the three days. The fact that the Green Knight did not flinch when the ax was brought upon him was foreshadowing of how Lord Bercilak would act during the bargain and that he would be true to his word.

The Green Knight takes three swings at Gawain to represent the three days of the bargain. What Gawain did in the bargain affected the outcome of the game. Gawain was true to his word two of the days, so two of the swings the Green Knight took deliberately missed Gawain’s neck. The last day Gawain kept the green scarf from Lord Bercilak, and the Green Knight’s ax nipped the side of Gawain’s neck. Gawain could have controlled the outcome of the game by what he did in the bargain. If he had kept more from Bercilak, then the outcome would have been much worse, and if he had handed over the scarf, he may have gotten away without a mark on him.

The game between the Green Knight and Gawain was a parallel to the bargain between Lord Bercilak and Gawain. They each could affect the outcome of the other by the actions they took.




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Mann Erudite – Essays on Literary Works