Sir Gawain and Morgan le Fay

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Sir Gawain and Morgan Le Fay The main premise of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as translated by Burton Raffel, is to see if Arthur’s court, as represented by Gawain, can honor its reputation when challenged by the Green Knight. Behind a seemingly harmless challenge presented by a strange man, Morgan Le Fay, Arthur’s half-sister and the secret antagonist, is attempting to bring shame and dishonor to the court of her secret love. The real test is not the simple sport of cutting someone’s head off as it seems, but the real test is if Gawain can remain a loyal, trustworthy and chivalrous knight. In the end there are three parts to the test, accepting the challenge of cutting off the Green Knight’s head and finding him in a year’s time, honoring the host, and not falling into the woman’s temptation. In order for Gawain to not bring dishonor to the kingdom, he must past all parts of the test. As Cindy L. Vitto states in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as Adolescent Literature: Essential Lessons, “(Morgan Le Fay) has devised the entire ‘game’ in an effort to test Arthur’s court and to frighten Guenever to death”(Vitto 4). Ultimately, while she does not frighten Quenever to death, Morgan Le Fay succeeds in making fools out of Arthur’s court by exposing Gawain as a less than worthy knight. As Gawain fails, Morgan accomplishes her goal of dishonoring the court in an attempt to make Arthur and his knights look like frauds. The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is about a testing of Sir Arthur The Great’s court and the knight, Sir Gawain, who accepts the challenge on their behalf. The challenge is for one of the knights to prove his worthiness and defend the honor of the court, in order to succeed, a knight must “rise so boldly, so fierce, so wild/ and give a blow and take a blow” (286-287). Sir Gawain is the nephew of King Arthur and his head knight as he is
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