Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

What does Fitt 4 seem to indicate about magic?

i can't find anything about magic other than maybe how the green knight was all sorts of different people throughout.

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Scholars such as Brian Stone have argued that the Green Knight is essentially a stand-in for the Devil, a trickster who changes identities, appears always invincible, and challenges humans to abandon their Christian and moral principles. Gawain, for example, is certainly tempted by the sensual luxuries of Bertilak's court and by the sexual advances of Bertilak's wife. Just as the Devil frequently makes bargains with hapless human beings in folktales and medieval stories, the Green Knight also makes bargains (two in fact) with Gawain. Gawain even comments that the Green Chapel seems like a place where one would meet Satan himself. And the description and name of the Green Chapel are in some ways a parody of the clean, welcoming, sanctuary of the Christian church, the House of God. Pacts with the Devil traditionally ended with the human giving up his soul, and one can even argue that by the end of the poem, Gawain does seem to have lost his soul ­ or at least, the moral faith that guided his soul.

But it is possible to view the devilish role of the Green Knight as merely a medieval Christian overlay to a pagan figure, where the conflict between the human and the Otherworldly/natural has been transformed into a conflict between the Christian and the Satanic. Indeed, the Green Knight, in both his forms, seems to maintain an innate link with Nature. As Bertilak, he still carries a unique, instinctual natural-ness, as evidenced by his prowess and physicality during the hunts in Fitt III. With Bertilak ranging through the wild forests and Gawain in bed having a diplomatic, flirtatious conversation with Lady Bertilak, it seems there could be no greater polarity between the vigorous natural world and the guarded human world.

If the natural vs. the human is the real conflict, then Nature would seem to have won out in this story, for the human constructions (as we have seen above) have proven to be futile and Gawain ultimately lets himself be guided by his own natural impulse to survive. But what confuses everything at the end is the revelation that none of this has been, in a sense, genuine, and that all of it has been a carefully engineered construction, planned by Morgan le Fay. In a sense, it isn't at all Nature or the "all-natural" Green Knight that Gawain has been contending with, but merely the machinations of another human being, driven by human jealousies and emotions, and dependent on constructions and artifices just as elaborate as those we have already encountered in the other human characters. In this light, Gawain's challenge hasn't been natural in the least, but instead the very definition of artificial.

Morgan le Fay, Gawain's "Misogynistic" Speech, and the Fall of Man: With the revelation of Morgan le Fay's villainy, nothing is as it seems, and the Green Knight, instead of the dynamic embodiment of Nature, ends up as the puppet of a relatively minor character in the story. Again, many critics have objected to the final explanation in Fitt IV, that it seems forced, doesn't "ring true," and that the poet was merely giving into the conventions of the larger Arthurian genre. Whether or not this is true, and whether Morgan's character really does play a vital role in a complex story or is merely a tack-on, the mention of her does cause Gawain's outburst in the eighteenth stanza, where he mentions Biblical figures who have been deceived by women. This speech is often labeled "misogynistic" (woman-hating) and out-of-character for Gawain. It may even reveal the underlying misogyny of the poet himself.