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Lecture

ENGB31

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Department
English
Course
ENGB31
Professor
Natalie Rose
Semester
Winter

Description
ENGB31_Jan14 The Romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The green knight is a hybrid figure that is at once very familiar (height of fashion) and unfamiliar (green, self-resurrecting) He is uncanny; weird, mysterious, otherworldy The symbolism of the Pentangle o ”an emblem of fidelity” o «”bytoknyng of trawthe” o Gold  Symbolism: denotes riches, valued because it’s pure and unadulterated  633-634; virtuous like fine gold o Five groups of five  Key number for this poem  Poetic form in terms of fives; Lines are repeated at 25  Five senses that he is perfect in; brave functions (Gawain)  Five fingers; refers to physical skills; delivering a good axe blow by chopping his head  5 joys of Mary  5 wounds of Christ o “endless knot”  all sets of 5 are interrelated  if you mess up one of them, you are breaking the knot; like a set of dominos  one leads to and imply one another Winny Tolkien Boroff “fraunchyse” generosity Free-giving Beneficence boundless “felagshschyp” Love of friendliness Brotherly love fellowmen “clannes” purity chastity Pure mind “courtaysye” courtesy chivalry (pure) manners “pité” compassion piety Compassion  this chart is Gawain’s reputation Gawain’s journey: “So many wonders befell him in the hills, It would be tedious to recount the least part of them. Sometimes he fights dragons, and wolves as well, Sometimes the wild men who dwelt among the crags; Both with bulls and with bears, and at other times boars, And ogres who chased him across the high fells. Had he not been valiant and resolute, trusting in God, He would surely have died many times. For fighting troubled him less than the rigorous winter, When cold clear water fell from the clouds And froze before it could reach the faded earth.” (719-28)  His religion is what makes him capable of all this and his reputations  Poet is downplaying everything that is happening on his way for the Green Knight; unusual in a romance; poet refuses to go into great details of individual encounters on his quest o Its not about being a chivalric knight, the marvelous or the dragon, rather its about the weather o Unsual is the real bit that is dragged in the novel  “fighting troubled him less than the rigorous winter”
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