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The Symbolism and Parallels of the Hunts The Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an intriguing story of chivalry and moral dilemmas Sir Gawain and the Green Knight contains many literary devices such as foreshadowing and especially symbolism The most in-depth form of symbolism is found in the obvious parallels between the two hunts There are three attempts for each hunt The lord of the castle hunts three animals the deer the boar and the fox Likewise the lady of the castle tempts Sir Gawain three times The parallels between these scenes exist in the behavior Sir Gawain exhibits Though the literal animals do not hold any specific meaning their instinctive behaviors hold the symbolic parallel to Sir Gawain The first animal the host hunts is the female deer The deer is considered a shy and non-confrontational creature Like many animals the deer takes flight in the occurrence that a confrontation might exist The behavioral characteristic that Sir Gawain mirrors is the avoidance of a confrontation with the lady of the house To avoid the confrontation Sir Gawain lay in his bed pretending to be asleep The line More seemly it were To try her intent by talking a little1198 indicates that Sir Gawain is leery of awakening and having a confrontation with the lady He does not want to offend the lady by rejecting her yet he does not wish to be seduced by the lady either If Sir Gawain allows the lady of the house to seduce him he will not only break the chivalrous code but also he could possibly offend the lord of the house Sir Gawain acting like the deer decides that it would be better to pretend to be asleep than to face the uncertain motives of the lady of the house The second day of the wager includes a long drawn out hunt by the lord of the house The boar is the
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