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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Pearl-Poet

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Part 2, Verses 35–45, Lines 811–1125 Summary

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Last Updated January 25, 2023.

A porter greets Sir Gawain at the castle, invoking Saint Peter before leaving. Servants then arrive to assist Gawain out of his armor and lead him to Bertilak, the lord of the castle.

Lord Bertilak is a large man, has a large beard, and is powerful but gracious. He welcomes Gawain to his home and leads him to a seat by the fire. Bertilak is pleased to learn of Gawain’s identity and gives him a warm welcome.

Sir Gawain also meets the beautiful Lady Bertilak and a woman described as an old, ugly crone. After some talk and entertainment, Gawain goes to sleep.

The following day, Lord Bertilak hosts a feast. Sir Gawain is seated next to Lady Bertilak and the two have an enjoyable conversation. Following the feast, Lord Bertilak escorts Gawain to his chambers for the evening, and he tells the knight that his visit is an honor and that he can stay as long as he wishes. Gawai tells Bertilak of his mission, and Bertilak tells him that the Green Chapel is actually a short distance away.

Lord Bertilak tells Gawain that he intends to go hunting the following day and that he should make himself comfortable at home while he is out. Since Lord Bertilak will be gone all day, he tells Gawain that Lady Bertilak will keep him company during mealtime. Finally, Bertilak invites Gawain to play a game. He will gift Gawain the spoils from his hunt, and Gawain will in turn give Bertilak anything he might acquire during his time in the castle. Gawain agrees and goes to sleep.

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Part 2, Verses 22–34, Lines 491–810 Summary

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Part 3, Verses 46–66, Lines 1126–1647 Summary