38 pages 1 hour read


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | Adult | Published in 1397

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Part 3Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3 Summary

The lord and his retinue depart before dawn the next morning. Meanwhile, the lady of the castle slips into Gawain’s bedroom and sits beside him. She insists that he remain in bed, saying she is pleased to have such a famous knight at her mercy; his gallantry, good looks, and wit would make him an ideal husband. Gawain protests that he is unworthy of her praise, and the two parry in a similar fashion until noon, at which point the lady chastises him: “So good a knight as Gawain is given out to be, / […] Had he lain so long at a lady’s side, / Would have claimed a kiss, by his courtesy” (1297-1300). Gawain accordingly allows her to kiss him, and she leaves.

The lord and his followers butcher the deer they have killed and return to the castle. Entering the hall, the lord presents his quarry to Gawain, and Gawain in turn offers his own winnings: a kiss. After feasting, they make the same bargain for the following morning.

The next day, the lord and his retinue again set off early. Back at the castle, the lady returns to Gawain’s bedside, and she scolds him for not immediately claiming a kiss; he replies that he would not want to take liberties, but he is hers to command.