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English 1022E Lecture Notes - Alliterative Verse

Course Code
English 1022E
David Bentley

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first lecture on the green knight october 26, 2010
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
On Board:
Quest: A perilous journey, both physical and emotional. Readers assume a ‘willing
suspension of disbelief’
Verse Paragraph
Alliterative Verse
Seven Deadly Sins
1. Pride
2. Covetousness
3. Lust
4. Envy
5. Gluttony
6. Anger
7. Sloth
Long Poem “neither epical in scope how yet wholly lyrical in quality”
-The English Parnassus
Only barbarians don’t erase the board after class - and ratbags!
Three Characteristics of a Romance
1. Simplified characters, recognizable heroes and villains.
2. Exotic Settings (Place, time, unusual class position) Aristocratic World (modern
times: Gossip Girl)
3. Episodic Plots
Three Stages of Quests
1. Perilous Journey
2. Encounter; Major physical battle
3. Exultation of hero (hero is rewarded for something) Often ends in a marriage
- Narrative Poem tells a story
-Quests can be for freedom (Thelma and Louise), people, things, quest for the holy grail
-Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is much more complex than you would expect
-It wasn’t the view that poor people needed to be helped; they always gave poor people
a ‘spiritual correctiveness’
-“If you fall into this behaviour you will be tested”
-Settings of a Romance are distant from the Here and Now.
-It can also be distant in class or time
l.1116 - 72
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