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Discussion on Sir Gawain & Green Knight

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ENGL 406
Jacqueline Jenkins

October 18, 2012 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The Cotton Nero A.x Project - Survives only in one manuscript reveals fragility of novels - be mindful of material history o if not for some events, might never have had the manuscript - british library ms. Cotton nero a.x. (f. 90/94v) o hard to read; not very narrative - other poems in manuscript o pearl, cleanness, patience  titles were given by later editors  not reflective of what they were known as in medieval time o manuscript also contains pictures o cotton nero a.x is small in size  all the poems in the manuscript written by one scribed and copied as one piece opposed to individually  no distinction between beginning of one poem and the end of another - Codicology o study of physical structure of book - Paleography o study of history of scripts and related aspects of punctuation and abbreviation th o suggests later half of 14 century o illustrations suggest later in the century – early 15 century  maybe images were added on later o nothing in manuscript that tells us about its history  unkniown until 17 century  1614 – earliest mention of manuscript - Shelfmark – system by which manuscripts are catalogued, store, and located o Usually indicates library, collection name and identifying number within that collection - Several questions remain: o Don’t know who scribe was? o What scribes motives were?  No other evidence for this scribes work remains  No evidence that he copied anything else  This poets voice is not repeated anywhere else o Don’t know relationship between scribe and poet  Don’t know why they were copied together o Don’t know if there was a earlier collection o Don’t know relationship between 4 poems  Is there a relationship  Assumption that poet is a male - Dominant theory: o They were composed by ONE poet – the Gawain poet  Stems from these evidences:  How poems appear to be a whole  One scribe, one dialect  Also depends on characteristics shred between poems  Shared langua
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