first lecture on the green knight october 26, 2010
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Quest: A perilous journey, both physical and emotional. Readers assume a ‘willing
suspension of disbelief’
Seven Deadly Sins
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 first lecture on the green knight october 26, 2010
- Shows that it’s an entirely different world. Rich colour and texture. We’re asked to
enter this place and negate the present.
- In this world characters behave differently and believe different things. Sir Gawain
The Chivalric Code
1. Belief in Christian world
2. Code of Manners, courtesy. To behave like a gentleman/lady
- Gawain’s christianity and code of courtesy ar