“What a lovely story! The way courtly love is represented in this story is marvellous and very well done. Sir Gawain is a perfect image of a courtly and chaste knight, living up to all the knightly virtues (chastity, courtesy, fellowship, generosity and piety) and being a courtly lover. He does not look like a superhero for he obviously has a flaw as well (lack of bravery).
The most fascinating in this story are the 'threes' and 'fives'. Did you notice that there are three hunts as well as three seductions? Also, the preys become smaller yet harder. The deer didn't expect Lord Bertilak. The first time Lord Bertilak's Lady tried to seduce Gawain, he was asleep. The second time, he is prepared and puts up some resistance. So does the boar. The last time, the fox fights back. Gawain does that in the first place as well, but it is here where he lacks bravery. The girdle is said to protect him and Gawain accepts. He promised Bertilak to show all his gifts. In the end, he gets the Lady's girdle and has to promise her that he won't show it.
The last 'three' are the blows in the beheading game. The first two miss but the third gives a scratch, since Sir Gawain did not give the third gift.
Then there are the fives, represented by the pentangle on Gawain's shield. They represent the five fingers of Gawain, five knightly virtues, five social virtues, five wounds of Christ on the Cross and five joys of Mary. Take those 5 angles times 5 things they represent and you get 25. Times 25 is 625. The pentangle is introduced in line 625.
The poem in total is 2530 lines. Minus 5 is 2525.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian Story, set in about 450 AD (when the Romans left Britain) and of course, located in Camelot. Knowing that, we can actually make a circle: Britain, Camelot, Beheading Game, Arming (shield), Castle of Lord Bertilak, Arming (girdle), Beheading Game, Camelot.”
Laura wrote this review Friday, January 21, 2011.