Sir Gawain and the green knight
the story begins in Camelot on New Year's Day as King Arthur's court is feasting and exchanging gifts. A large Green Knight armed with an axe enters the hall andproposes a game. He asks for someone in the court to strike him once with his axe, on condition that the Green Knight will return the blow one year and one day later. Sir Gawain, the youngest ofArthur's knights and nephew to the king, accepts the challenge. He severs the giant's head in one stroke, expecting him to die. The Green Knight, however, picks up his own head, reminds Gawain to meethim at the Green Chapel in a year and a day (New Year's Day the next year) and rides away.
As the date approaches, Sir Gawain sets off to find the Green Chapel and complete his bargain with the GreenKnight. After many adventures and battles Gawain, on the brink of starvation from his long journey, encounters a beautiful castle where he meets Bertilak de Hautdesert, the lord of the castle, andhis beautiful wife; both are pleased to have such a renowned guest. Gawain tells them of his New Year's appointment at the Green Chapel and says that he must continue his search as he only has a fewdays remaining. Bertilak laughs and explains that the Green Chapel is less than two miles away and proposes that Gawain stay at the castle.
Before going hunting the next day, Bertilak proposes abargain to Gawain: he will give Gawain whatever he catches, on condition that Gawain give him whatever he might gain during the day. Gawain accepts. After Bertilak leaves, the lady of the castle, LadyBertilak, visits Gawain's bedroom to seduce him. Despite her best efforts, however, he yields nothing but a single kiss. When Bertilak returns and gives Gawain the deer he has killed, his guest respondsby returning the lady's kiss to Bertilak, without divulging its source. The next day, the lady comes again, Gawain dodges her advances, and there is a similar exchange of a hunted boar for two...
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