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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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King Arthur lies at Camelot upon a Christmas-tide and will not eat until he hears tell of a marvel of knightly feats. In among them rides the Green Knight and challenges any knight of the Table Round to the beheading game; one of them, he suggests, can strike off his head and, at the end of a year, if he survives, he will then strike off his beheader's. Gawain accepts the challenge and strikes off his head; the Green Knight gathers up his head and charges him to meet him at the year's end at the Knight's Green Chapel to receive the fatal blow. What betides him on his journey, how he falls into temptation yet fails to fall, is the subject of this all too human tale of an ordinary man, as he come to discover, caught up in a tale he cannot fathom of ritual and romance.


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