People do not like to be deceived. A person does not come home excited because at work today they were lied to, or tricked. Even though people despise being deceived it is something that happens to everyone at some point in their life. The story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight illustrates this point wonderfully.
Any person can be deceived. People from all walks of life have fallen in one form or another. Sir Gawain was an honorable man. He was brave, well-known, and highly esteemed among his peers. Sir Gawain was a man’s man, but despite his fine attributes he still fall’s face first into the trap of deception.
The primary form of deception for Sir Gawain comes in the form of the Green Knights’ wife. She is a beautiful lady who has a desire for Sir Gawain. The first day of the “game” between Sir Gawain and the lord of the castle is now underway. The lord and his men kill several deer over the course of the day. Sir Gawain on the other hand is busy trying to ward off the sexual advances of the lord’s wife. Sir Gawain is successful warding off the sexual advances, but does not escape without giving the lady a kiss. When Sir Gawain and the lord exchange gifts, Gawain does not tell him from whom the kiss came. Day two ends with the lord bringing back a vicious bear for Gawain. Gawain however gives him two kisses because that is what he had done during the course of the day. The third day the lord leaves to pursue a fox as his wife enters the bedchamber of Sir Gawain for a third time. This time she is adorned in a revealing gown. She offers to give him a ring, but he refuses. He does, however, accept a green girdle from the woman as well as a third kiss. The green girdle is supposed to have magical healing properties that will restore health. He later confesses his sin to the priest and has a hard time sleeping in deep thought of the next day’s events. After traveling to a dark place Sir Gawain is finally reunited with the Green Knight. The Green Knight slightly cuts the neck of Sir Gawain on the third blow, and proceeds to tell him that he is the lord of the castle, and the sexual advances of his wife was a set-up. The Green Knight then proceeds to tell him that he is a fine and noble man, but Sir Gawain is much harsher on himself than is the Green Knight.
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Deception has gotten the best of Sir Gawain. He listened to his flesh rather than to what he knew was the right thing to do. On the third day, he did not tell the lord of the castle about the green girdle given him by the wife of the lord. This girdle represents deception as well. The girdle is given with promise of protection, but it is the girdle that brings the most harm upon his moral being. Sir Gawain leaves the scene and returns to Camelot. He tells the people about his adventure, but is embarrassed by his moral failures along the way. He keeps the green girdle as a reminder to the weakness of his human flesh.