Literature Study GuidesSir Gawain And The Green KnightFytte The Third Stanzas 12 13 Summary

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight | Study Guide

Pearl Poet

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight | Fytte the Third, Stanzas 12–13 | Summary



Fytte the Third, Stanza 12

The next morning, the hunting hounds catch the scent of an animal. The hunters follow the hounds to a hill beside a cliff and a fallen rock, surrounding the game they know is within. A huge boar emerges and runs away. The hunters and hounds chase him. The aggressive boar fights and harms many of the hounds.

Fytte the Third, Stanza 13

The men push forward to shoot the boar. Though several shots hit him, the boar continues to fight. He rushes the hunters, harming some of them and making others draw back. But Bertilak continues to chase the boar till the sun goes down.

Meanwhile, the Lady of Hautdesert goes again to Gawain's room.


The boar represents pride. He's described in the narrator's frequent superlatives as "the most formidable of swine" and "the greatest of boars." The boar has broken apart from the herd and feels competent on his own. His speed shows he'll be a more challenging hunt than the meek and frightened deer. The terrain is trickier—the men ride "where the rough rock was rudely fallen."

In Fytte the Third, Stanza 13, Bertilak is determined to finish the quest he started, at his own peril. The boar seems to be invincible; arrows strike his skin but don't do any real damage ("the barbs would not bite on his brawn" and arrowheads "hopped out again wheresoever [they] hit"). The menace of the boar adds tension to both Bertilak's and Gawain's quests.

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