Make your own free website on
MythMan's Help
Gawain and the Green Knight
Home | Myth Review | Something else | The Arthurian Legends | Gawain and the Green Knight | Epic of Gilgamesh | Quick Facts | Beowulf | Olympians | The Iliad | The Odyssey | The Virgil's Aeneid | Bestiary | Homer | Poll results | Society and Mythology | Deities, Symbolism and Paganism | Analyzing Myths | Credits

Gawain and the Greek Knight
Need to understand the concept?

 Gawain was a knight in the legendary Court of King Arthur. One cold night, during a feast, a literal green knight came in, carrying an extremely large axe. He boasted that he would allow any man to cut off his head, if he would be allowed to return the favor. Only Gawain came forward and sliced the giant's head off perfectely. The Green Knight picked up his head and rode out of the hall, while yelling to Gawain to meet him at the Green Chapel in a year and a day. Twelve Moths later, Gawain was lost in a snow storm and took refuge in the castle of Lord Bercilak. There, he was allowed to stay until the storm died. That night, Bercilak's wife came and attempted to seduce Gawain, but he remained loyal. She attempted again the next night to seduce the night, but he remained loyal. But she did eventually get him to accept a green belt, claiming that with it the Green Knight would prove powerless.When Gawain came to the Green Chapel, the Green Knight came forth with his axe and swung it three times. The first two times, he missed, and the third he merely grazed the tender neck of Gawain. Then he revealed to Gawain that he was truthfully Lord Bercilak, and that the witch Morgana had transformed him to test the knights of King Arthur. He did not hit the first two times because Gawain remained loyal to his guest. The third time he grazed the neck of Gawain because he did not fall victim to Bercilak's wife's seduction, but did not give the belt. Bercilak told him that he was an almost perfect knight. But one thing that has been noticed about the tale is that perhaps the Green Knight has some relations to the Celtic vegetation god, the Green Man. Perhaps Morgana had imbued the spirit of this god upon Bercilak to give him the awesome strength that was shone.

The Perfect Knight and the Holy Grail
 Perfection amongst the knights of King Arthur was so important because the desired objective of the Knights of the Round Table was to set out on a quest to find the Holy Grail, the magical goblet fabled to of been the very cup that Jesus Christ imbued 'his blood' into and presented to the Apostles at the Last Supper. Only a pure and perfect Knight could lead an expedition for this item of magic. In early legend, it was the knight, and my favorite, Percival, who was shown it at first and did not realize what it was, and then returned leading the expedition realizing the magical tool. Later it was the son of the bold knight Lancelot, Galahad, who was pure of heart and perfect. Gawain was included into these expeditions, despite being slight imperfect. King Arthur embarked on these journeys and after they left the holy place of the Grail, the only other knight to witness the awe of the Grail was Sir Lancelot, who despite his treachory and treason of the court of King Arthur, was granted sight from  a distance of the Holy Grail, but when he attempted to step closer to get a better look at it, he fell to the Earth, and the angels would not help him.