ENGB31 Lecture 2
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (and the romance)
Romance is established by the late 14 century
The interesting fact about this poem is the way it talks about the genre
The feature of this poem that makes it a romance genre is the fact that its
written in the Vernacular
14 century revival
The form has a bob and wheel stanza at the end
This rhyming is a feature of French poetry and not Anglo-Saxon and is
therefore a formal and modern poem in terms of its Scandinavian esque
It is one of the dualities and tensions in this poem
Questions whether it is a pious religious poem or a response to secularism
Celtic folklore first time there’s a beheading and was then translated into
Key issues in Part 1:
What is the effect of beginning with Troy?
- Arthurs court are the inheritors of the Greek Civilization
-Relating to an Epic in history
-Large contrast between the vast significance of Troy and the one on one
-Nice inter textual foreshadowing
-There is some trouble involved in this legendary descent from Troy.
The last stanza of the poem zooms back on Troy it’s a mirror reflection of the
beginning (beginning is mirrored in the end)(25:25)
-Arthur likes to be entertained: he has this ritual of not partaking in a feast
until he has heard a curious tale (line 93-94) or a knight has begged for a
trustworthy foe in jousting.
-It is an extreme desire for entertainment and it has become ritualized
Arthur craves romance or the genre of the romance
How is Arthur’s court presented initially?
What do we make of Arthur’s ritual of not feasting will he’s been told a
marvelous story or a knight has demanded a duel? What are the implications
for considering the genre of the romance?
How is the Green knight presented, and what are the implications?
-He is ginormous
-He is extremely well adorned with gems and jewelry
-Has the most elegant clothing (line 179) most attractive
-Following the whole extreme theme since he is so adorned
-He is exactly what Arthur is looking for since he is so