To read these events, to hear my shameful deeds recited alliteratively, rekindles my own despair for committing these failures.  To hear myself lauded as a paragon of perfection and the purest sample of a chivalric knight is setting these standards far too low.  Indeed these kind mistruths only serve to deepen my disgrace and further my distance from perfection.  A good knight would have never accepted the girdle from the lovely wife of Bertilak.  I accepted it under the condition that I would not tell my most gracious host, but I had already sworn to him to give to him all that I received during my respite in his impressive castle.  I should not have vowed to my lady when I had been previous bound by oath to her husband to do just what she asked me not to. 

To my disgrace, I acted in fear of losing my life to the Green Knight and not on this chivalry all have falsely attributed to myself.  My quest to find the Green Knight was my acceptence of the doom to which I had sworn to subject myself.  But the sheer magnificence and enjoyment of life itself that I experience with my host during his extravagant and gay festivities filled me with envy for those who would continue to live.  I was covetous of the good people who could continue to revel in the luxuries that life has to offer.  Through this envy my cowardice rose, and I could not decline the girdle from my lady when I learned it would save my life and grant me more years of excess, years that chivalry had not seen fit to grant me. 

So I abandoned my goodness, my claim to the love of the people and my respect of myself.  Yet Arthur and his court, even Bertilak himself, presume that my reputation is still intact.  But I will always wear the girdle to remind myself of the stains on my virtue.

Gawain
 


Comments

Alisande
10/31/2013 3:33pm

Dearest Sir Gawain,

I do not entirely understand your despair, noble knight! Why, yes, you did lie in order to save your life. You did break your oath to Bertilak by accepting the girdle from his wife and not telling him about it. You did not face the Green Knight without the protection of the girdle. However! The Green Knight himself was not very chivalrous or knightly! He came to the court of King Arthur and called you all beardless babies! You would never show such disrespect to a court. While your words did not match your deeds, your heart is good: you refused to sleep with Bertilak's wife; you also did not accept her first gift of a beautiful gold ring, and instead took what she called the "humbler" gift! Your only crime is loving life; a man cannot be blamed for this.

Take care,
Alisande

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Sir Bedivere
10/31/2013 5:15pm

My dear Gawain,

It troubles me so that you were doomed to find the Green Knight. As myself and all the other barons spoke to Arthur about you venturing out all alone. We were all filled with such sorrow and grief to see such a noble knight be sentenced to inevitable doom. I saw your brave face that you had masked over your fear. I could not feel more trouble in my heart knowing that a man like you would be left to die. Do not think of yourself in such a way, my dear Gawain, you are a noble and brave knight to face such an ogre. The girdle was meant to protect you and keep a good knight here on this land.

Sir Bedivere

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Lanval
10/31/2013 7:18pm

Sir Gawain, do not be distraught about what you have done. You were simply being the great knight that you are and doing what you believed was best! The fact that you did not back down in your quest to face the Green Knight shows that you have no fear. So do not think that because he has not chopped your head off that it displays cowardice on your part. As for Bertilak's lady, it is important to think that if you did not take her girdle, it is considered an uncourteous act! Do you not remember when I rejected the Queen Guinevere? It is as if I have committed the heinous of crimes! Instead of making yourself feel unworthy as a knight, remember that taking the girdle was truly honorable, because it is like the chivalric code where to be loyal to a king, in this case the host, is to be loyal to his lady as well. Do not fret my dear friend, for the acts you have done still hold to your name--a great and courteous knight!

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Merlin
11/01/2013 4:20am

Sir Gawain,

Friend, do not be distraught about what happened. It was your destiny to be a great knight and fulfill your duties. You were meant to go to this domain. Our lord, Arthur could not do anything to prevent this predica

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Giant of saint Michaels mount
11/01/2013 7:35am

My Sir Gawain, I have heard much of your valor and chilvalric prowess. You are a most true knight indeed. Yet this news of you, the great Gawian, fearing your life? This is not what I expect from what I have heard. To accept a magic garment to cheat? I laugh at your fear! You say you do not believe your court in saying you have honour? Good!! You show cowardess and a child like cling to life. You agreed to the game, play it!! And to green knight, I applaud thee! You are a hero and exposure of truth. I only hope you show more knights the blanket of lies and ego they live under.You show too much leniency in your judgement. Gawian cheated and lied, he deserves the shaming he gives himself... sir Gawian. Know, I will not be as kind.

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Tristan
11/01/2013 8:25am

Dear Sir Gawain,
I ask of you not to feel any anguish over what you have done, for you are a brave and honorable knight. I honor and admire you. Although I do question you vocalizing your fear of losing your life because brave knights do no such thing, I still regard you as a noble and courteous knight none the less. You should indeed rather die in honor and legacy instead of living in cowardice, but, you have redeemed your character in other ways. Your concern with courtesy and fears of becoming a traitor are what make you admirable. After all, you faced the Green Knight! Do not stress it dwell on anything, for you are guilty of nothing in my eyes!
-Tristan

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Guinevere
11/01/2013 9:06am

I bid you no shame my dear Sir Gawain,

By accepting the girdle you acquired the most precious gift of all & that is life. Is it true that you believe you lack faithfulness despite being put to the test? With all due respect, I must disagree. Your prowess precedes you & you demonstrated your nobility by refusing the beautiful Lady Bertilak. As tempting as death may be, I think it is only fair that one can bend the rules in such a game. I commend you, brave knight, for your chivalry and your loyalty. Qualities such as these salvage the good and that is why you stand today by means of the girdle.

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Ygerne
11/05/2013 9:53am

Sir Gawain,
Your actions have reflected your character, and indeed you are very worthy of your title as the noble Sir Gawain. However, I too am disappointed in your methods of honoring your covenant with the Green Knight and with the host. Not in the sense that I feel you have cheated, because I too believe that the Green Knight had cheated himself, knowing full well of his own power to retain life even when decapitated. No, I do not blame you for wanting to save your own life, whichever method you may choose to do so. But I do blame you for your troublesome relationship with the host's wife. Knowing the host was away and hunting, you spent time with his wife and took pleasure in her company and expressed your affections for her. To me, this is slightly disrespectful of the household in which you are lodging by consideration of the host.
I am glad you have saved yourself Gawain, but please rethink your actions in this matter.
Ygerne

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Sir Galahad of the Round Table
11/05/2013 12:02pm

Sir Gawain,

I must ask, what would your plan have been to confront the Green Knight at the Green Chapel had you not come upon that spiteful girdle? The fault in your character lies not in your will to preserve your life, as Bertilak admitted to you, but the fault lies in your forethought and the nature of your deceptions. You allowed some deceitfulness to come into your machinations against the Green Knight. You took his contract with the understanding that you had no way of defending against his blade. A truly virtuous knight doesn't enter into a pact that he cannot uphold. If you had such a girdle at your disposal before brokering that deal, then the deal would have been done in good faith and your life would be preserved all the same. However, after you brokered the deal with the understanding you would be laid down by the Green Knight's bargain you had to seek out some route by which you could escape the deal. In short, I believe it was not your dishonesty in taking the girdle, but your dishonesty in striking that deal without accepting the consequences which reflects so poorly on your honor.

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Sir Kay
12/16/2013 9:54pm

Gawain, young knight, do not sorrow. you have returned to the round table to admit to your faults and mistakes, that makes you honorable. You are deserving of the pentacle symbol which you carry around on your shield. Even though I say these words, it would have been much better if you did not lie about the girdle which you had received. It is a disgrace for a knight to go back on his words Gawain. A knight's words is his ultimate oath, the honor of his soul. If you had not come back to the round table with your truthfulness, you might have lost your soul. I am always a man of my words Gawain and you should be too. You are a knight of the round table, you should be nothing less.

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