In the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," how many days did Gawain stay at Bertilak's castle?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Sir Gawain travels nearly two months in search of the Green Knight's chapel, whom he must meet on New Year's Day. A few days before that, he is suffering in the cold and prays for shelter. He then finds a castle where he is welcomed by a rich lord. Sir Gawain stays four nights and three days in Lord Bertilak's castle while also being entertained by the lady of the house. Sir Gawain tries to leave after the second day, but Bertilak convinces him to stay. On the fourth day, Gawain leaves to meet the Green Knight for their appointment.

mtellis69 | Student

Actually the number of days Gawain spends at Bertilak's castle is 6 days. Sir Gawain wanted to take a break from his exhaustive journey in search of the Green Knight (aka, Bertilak, though at this point in  time Garwain does not know this). This was the second time Garwain thought of his uncomforts, wishing, if only he could have some distance from the ardous travel.  He arrives on Christmas in a misterious woods and while in his thoughts of praising his lord (God), he suddenly realizes a castle.  Anyways, Garwain gains permission to enter the castle, greets the master (Bertilak). Garwian stay's the night and the next 5 days he stays at the castle, under the agreement that he could relax and self indulge. However the agreement is much deeper.  Bertilak and Garwain agree everyday, the master would go out on his hunting trips and everything he found he would give to Garwain. In return, Garwain would give the master anything he obtained everyday while in the castle.  Garwain accepts this deal however he still has the deal he made with the Green Knight a year earlier.  The Green Knight deal Garwain made was to seek the knight out 1 year and 1 day after Garwain axed the knights head off with 1 strike.  Ok, so its Christmas when Garwain finds the castle (December 25th, and this day does not count). The first countable day is Dec. 26th.  Garwain finally leaves on 1st of the New Year. There are 31 days in December. 26-31= 6 days.

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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