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Sir Gawain

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by

Colin Blackie

on 12 October 2012

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Transcript of Sir Gawain

Parentage Sir Gawaine is the child of King Arthur's sister Queen Morgause and King Lot of Orkney and Lothian. Place of Birth/Residence In most Arthurian legends, Sir Gawain was born in Orkney, modern day Scotland. Gawain lived here until he and his brothers left to join King Arthur's Round Table. He resided in England with Arthur until he was killed in battle. Sir Gawain Works Cited History Before Knighthood Sir Gawain was born in Orkney along with his brothers Agravaine, Gaheris, and Gareth. Mordred was born after Gawain, Agravaine, and Gaheris had left to join King Arthur's Round Table. Gawain was raised by his mother, Morgause, even though he basically took care of himself and his brothers. Gawain had one main adventure before knighthood, and that was the killing of a unicorn. Gawain, Agravaine, Gaheris, and Gareth set out on a journey to murder a unicorn and make their mother proud of them. They journeyed into the forest with a virgin to attract a unicorn so they could kill it. When the unicorn arrived, Agravaine slayed it and they dragged the head back to their house. However, Morgause payed it no attention at first and the brothers were sad. She later punished them for their action. This is Gawain's only notable action before his knighthood. Knighthood Event Major Knight Events During Sir Gawain's knighthood, he experienced many events that tested his will as a knight. Perhaps his most memorable quest was that of him and The Green Knight. During this adventure, Gawain was challenged by The Green Knight to slice his head off, but in return the Green Knight would return the blow to Gawain one year later. On this quest, Gawain's honor and bravery were tested by The Green Knight and his wife. One of his other key knighthood events, was his part of the quest for The Holy Grail. He faced trials and tribulations during this excursion and developed a strong hatred for Sir Galahad. His final major knight event, was riding with King Arthur into war against Lancelot. Despite the fact that he was killed because of this war, he displayed loyalty by sticking by King Arthur's side. Lady Loves Sir Gawain has taken part in several documented relationships throughout his life, and undoubtedly others that have been lost to history. His most well known love affair, is that between himself and The Green Knight's Wife, Lady Bertilak. Here he was tempted to sleep with her, but his honor prevented him from going through with this action. His second documented relationship was between himself, and Dame Ragnell. Gawain married her in order to save King Arthur's life. She was thought to be an ugly hag, but was under a spell to make her ugly until a good knight would marry her. When Sir Gawain consented to the marriage, Dame Ragnell was able to be beautiful either during the day, or at night. When Gawain was asked which he preferred, he left the choice to Dame Ragnell. This answer lifted the curse and Dame Ragnell was able to beautiful all the time. His other love affairs are smaller and less known. He has relationships with fairies in several different stories, however there is not much information on these loves. Marriage In the story, The Wedding of Sir Gawain, Sir Gawain was married. A knight called Sir Gromer Somer Joure challenged King Arthur to find out what women desire most, or have his head chopped off in one year if he did not return with the correct answer. While searching for the answer to this question, Arthur met an ugly hag named Dame Ragnell that claims to know the answer to his question. She would tell Arthur the answer in exchange for marriage to Sir Gawain. When Arthur explained the situation to Gawain, he accepted the marriage proposal in order to save the king. When Arthur returned to Dame Ragnell to recieve the answer to his question and to tell of Sir Gawain's acceptance of the marriage, he learns that what women desire most is to make their own decisions. When Arthur gave Sir Gromer Somer Joure the correct answer and was allowed to live, Sir Gawain was married to Dame Ragnell. That night, Dame Ragnell explained to Sir Gawain that she was under a spell making her appear to be an ugly hag, however when she married a good knight the curse would be lifted for half of each day allowing her to be beautiful. When Dame Ragnell asked Sir Gawain which half of the day he preferred her to be beautiful, he allowed her to make the decision. This choice of Sir Gawain's rid Dame Ragnell of the curse, and she was able to be beautiful all the time. Sir Gawain Parentage Sir Gawain is the child of King Arthur’s sister Queen Morgause and King Lot of Orkney and Lothian. History Before Knighthood Before being knighted, Sir Gawain had one main documented adventure. This excursion took place with his brothers Agravaine, Gaheris, and Gareth before Mordred was born. In this adventure, the boys killed a unicorn to impress their mother. Their journey began by traveling into the forest with a virgin. There they tied her up to a tree and waited for a unicorn to appear. When the unicorn arrived to see the virgin, everyone was at a loss for words. However, Agravaine still slaughtered the animal. The head of the unicorn was then chopped off and dragged back to their house. Upon returning home, the boys tried to show their mother the head but were ignored. Later when she did finally see the head, she was horrified and punished her sons for committing such an act. This is the only notable documented action of Sir Gawain before being knighted. Place of Birth/Residence In most Arthurian Legends, Sir Gawain was born in Orkney, modern day Scotland. Gawain lived here until he and his brothers left to join King Arthur’s Round Table. He resided in England with Arthur until he was killed in battle. Death Sir Gawain was killed in battle. He received a damaging blow to the head delivered by Sir Lancelot during a fight. When the cut had healed, but not the damage, Sir Gawain rode into battle alongside King Arthur to take the throne back from Mordred. However, during the battle the wound on Sir Gawain's head was reopened and he later died. a Knight's Helm Bibliography
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