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3 Sept 25 englishnotes.doc

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EN 1006
Alison Halsall

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English 1100 B Thurs, Sept 25, 2008 Wife of Bath’s Digressions - Rant about friars - Digression about Midas’ ass; ears o Serves to emphasize that women cannot keep secrets o Should remind you of antifeminist propoganda o WoB retells it from a woman’s perspective and puts women at centre of action o Women want sovereignty the most – control over their husband and love  “maistrye”  control - Hag’s speech on gentillese (virtuous living) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Manuscript housed in British Library, London - Small book, less than five inches by seven o Contains four poems, copied out by someone (not the poem) around 1400  predates 1400 as an oral text - First saw print in 1839 (over 400 years after it was copied by hand) Importance of Sir Gawain as a Text - Technical innovation: “bob and wheel” (sections that appear at the ends of each verse paragraph) o Employed to call attention to important idea - Medieval forms of book production o Sir Gawain originated as oral poem, but was written down by a scribe in 1400 o Before printing press (wasn’t invented until 1440 by Johann Gutenberg) - Arthurian romance will preoccupy writers for next 500 years Textual Origins of King Arthur - Product of legend and literature, originating in the fifth and sixth centuries - Although Arthur was originally British hero, romances of Arthur flourished in France, in verse romances of Chretien de Troyes o Gawain-poet borrowed 2 plot elements from Chretien’s Perceval:  The Beheading Game  The Exchange of Winnings
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