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The so-called "Pearl Poet" introduced Bertilak de Hautdesert in the 14th-century alliterative poem "Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt." Morgan le Fay transforms him into the Green Knight to test her brother king Arthur's court. A slightly later poem, "The Greene Knight," was longer and written for popular recitation, and called him Bredbeddle. He arrived at court with a bough of holly in one hand and a battle ax in the other; Arthur accepted his challenge that he would allow anyone to strike him once with the ax on condition that he would return the blow a year later, but the king's nephew Gawain took his place and decapitated the knight, who retrieved his head and renewed the terms of the challenge. A year later Bertilak hosted Gawain at his castle, submitting him to a series of tests of his loyalty and chastity. Bertilak offered to give Gawain whatever he catches at the hunt but Gawain must give him whatever he gets. Then he sent his wife to seduce him, but all she could get for her wiles was a single kiss. Bertilak then presented Gawain with a deer, and Gawain gave him a kiss. The next day the lady tried again and received 2 kisses, which Gawain dxchanged for a boar. On the 3rd day she offered Gawain a golden ring but he refused, though he accepted a silk girdle which will protect him from physical harm. Gawain exchanged the 3 kisses for a fox. The next day he proceeded to the Green Chapel and bared his neck to the Knight, who tested his courage 3 times but only slightly wounded him before revealing his true identity. In "The Greene Knight" Bredbeddle was sent by his wife's brother to trick Gawain, with whom she was secretly in love, but Gawain would go no further in her seduction attempt than to accept a girdle from her. The Knight then asked Gawain to accompany him to Arthur's court. In the fragmentary folk ballad "King Arthur and King Cornwall" Bredbeddle made a cameo as an excorcist who gained control over Burlow Beanie, a 7-headed sprite, whom he turned against the wicked king Cornwall and beheaded him.
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