‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ ctd.

The Green Knight makes the third swing and this time gives Gawain a small cut on the neck. As soon as Gawain sees his blood, he jumps up, puts on his armour and says: “OK, I have fulfilled the terms of the game. You were going to strike at my neck – but only once. Your next blow will meet with my sword”. The knight calmly answers “Sure, you’ve met the terms of the game – up to a point. But you forget about the other game, the one you played with me in the castle. You were true on the first two days, when you gave me back these kisses from my wife, but you committed a small breach of confidence when you neglected to mention this girdle. But you did it only because you feared for your life, so it’s understandable”. Gawain goes pale and says “I am ashamed to admit it is all true. So please take back the girdle and administer whatever punishment you see fit”. “Now, now, don’t be so hard on yourself”, says the knight rather good-naturedly. “Take the girdle back as a keepsake and go back to the castle to celebrate New Year with me and my wife”.


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