Foreshadowing In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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In the final section of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the audience is privileged to detailed descriptions of nature as Sir Gawain travels to his meeting with the Green Knight. Why does the poet include such descriptions? Through careful study of the text, it is apparent that these details about Gawain’s surroundings contribute to the suspense of this final section. All in all, the ominous tone of such descriptions followed by foreshadowing and affirmations of surrounding evil by various characters contributes to the suspense which is essential to the significance of the poem’s conclusion. Without question, the suspense first arises due to the foreboding tone prevalent in the descriptions of nature. Details, such as the “wild weather” and “cold sky” (62), form the basis of this foreboding tone. In learning that “[t]he wind warbled wild as it whipped from aloft” (62), the audience’s feelings of uneasiness about what is to come grow. Furthermore, the personification of weather as an antagonistic force allows for the description to have more of a …show more content…

For instance, Gawain’s surroundings are filled with “mist” and “broken rock” (64), which can be dangerous for someone in a foreign land. Thus, the audience, in suspense, senses that Gawain’s meeting with the Green Knight will end badly for our hero. Gawain is then warned that “There is a villain in yon valley, the veriest on earth” (64), a statement revealed to be about the Green Knight. When one learns of the Green Knight’s formidable reputation for evil, it is thus assumed that the story will not end well for Gawain. All in all, the interaction of the descriptions of Gawain’s ominous surroundings and the warning he receives about the Green Knight builds upon the suspense, ultimately making the ending of the poem more

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