Sir Gawain and The Green Knight
Sir Gawain and The Green Knight EH 203
Jacksonville State University
Popular in Survey of English Literature I
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kimberly Burke on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EH 203 at Jacksonville State University taught by Dr. Gates in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Survey of English Literature I in Foreign Language at Jacksonville State University.
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Date Created: 01/30/16
British lit – Sir Gawain and The Green Knight • Sir Gawain & the Green Knight o Characters: § Sir Gawain – protagonist, Arthur’s Nephew, loyal knight of the round table, 5 points of Chivalry, flaw=lie to protect himself, takes on Green Knight § Green Knight – mysterious visitor to Camelot, huge, green complexion, has beard, comes to Camelot with holly to prove peace, proposes game, puts huge importance on verbal contracts, supernatural=beheaded but picks up head & walks away, also Bertilak § Bertilak of Hautdesert – good-natured lord of castle where Gawain spends Christmas, foil to King Arthur, minion to Morgan le Faye, also Green Knight § Bertilak’s Wife – tries to seduce Gawain, clever debater, flirty, intelligent, minion to Morgan le Faye § Morgan le Faye – powerful sorceress trained by Merlin, ½ sister to King Arthur, old woman in Bertilak’s castle, appears to be Camelot’s enemy § King Arthur – King of Camelot, young & beardless, refuses to eat until he hears a fantastic tale, prepared to take on the Green Knight’s challenge, joins Gawain in wearing green sash at the end § Queen Quinevere – Arthur’s wife § Gringolet – Gawain’s horse o Pg.141 – romance – introduces Marie de France § Sir Gawain = knight of the round table, goes on quest § Wife of Bath’s tale = knight goes on punishment quest § Usually includes something spectacular/magic • Wife of bath – fairies, hag was more than a hag, right answer saved knight twice (once from death, once from having a hag for a wife) • Gawain – Green Knight was Bertilak, Morgan le Faye is not old woman o Not widely read like Chaucer o Other people who wrote about King Arthur § Monmouth – wrote history of English Kings § Mallory – wrote tales of the Age of King Arthur, death of Arthur o “Bob & Wheel” – end of stanza, 5 lines that rhyme o Alliterative revival – part of poets scheme, revival b/c this poet is bringing alliteration back o Religious Calendar § New years is part of the 12 days of Christmas § Gawain leaves on All Saints Day – important soldier, taking on the task § Alone of Christmas Eve – in the wilderness praying for somewhere to go • Pg.199 – shield – maybe gifted to him for the trip o 5 pointed star, interlocked = ever eternal, symbolic star of the faith o 5 senses, 5 joys, 5 traits, 5 fingers, 5 wounds – 5 sets of 5 o Mary on the inside of shield – comforter o Prays for a place to go to mass – finds the castle § People in castle are Christian b/c they are celebrating the Christmas feasts § Castle is under the spell of Morgan le Faye o 3 becomes important number § 3 days of exchanging gifts between Gawain & Host • Host’s gifts = deer, hog/boar, fox • Gawain’s gifts = 1 kiss, 2 kisses, 3 kisses rd o 3 day – Bertilak’s wife gives Gawain a green girdle/sash § private, magical, keep him safe, doesn’t reveal gift to king § 3 blows by Green Knight – knight revealed in this scene • pg.2267 – Gawain winced, knight doesn’t strike • pg.2290 – knight fakes a strike • pg.2309 – knight knicks Gawain o Just a knick b/c happy ending, fairytale, reward for offering himself without flinching
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