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6. Gawain returns to Camelot

6. Gawain returns to Camelot

Gawain is stunned to discover that the Green Knight and Sir Bercilak are one and the same. And he is confused...

Sir Bercilak explains: when he came to Camelot a year ago he did so in order to challenge the courage of King Arthur's knights.

Only he, Gawain, was courageous enough to take up the challenge. When Gawain came to his castle Sir Bercilak's wife continued the plan by giving Gawain the green belt and making him promise to keep it a secret. By keeping the belt secret Gawain broke his promise to his host and it was for that - a small dishonesty - that Sir Bercilak, as the Green Knight, gave Gawain a small nick on the neck.

Gawain is filled with a sense of cowardice and failure. But Sir Bercilak tells him not to be so hard on himself and to keep the belt as a token of his trial.

Gawain accepts, taking the belt as a reminder of his frailty. But when he returns to Camelot King Arthur and his court see it otherwise: Gawain is welcomed joyfully as a victor and Arthur decrees that henceforth all knights should wear a green belt as a symbol of courage and purity.

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