Welcome to the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight study guide! Here, you will find all the essential information about the poem’s plot and genre. You will also learn about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight story’s characters, themes, and symbols.
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Key Facts
|Full Name||Sir Gawain and the Green Knight|
|Date of Publishing||Late 14th century|
|Setting (Time)||The Age of King Arthur Rulership|
|Setting (Place)||Medieval England|
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Articles
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a Middle-English romance poem. Its author is unknown. The manuscript that contains it also includes three other significant poems: Pearl, Purity, and Patience. Gawain is the last piece in the document.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a story about a noble Gawain, a member of King Arthur’s round table. It was written by an anonymous Middle ages author. Throughout the poem, the main character meets with a number of other heroes.
There are many themes in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. The anonymous author explores them throughout the poem in various ways. Nonetheless, chivalry and honor can be seen as the most dominant Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’s themes.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight symbolism penetrates the entire poem. Nevertheless, there are two symbols that require further analysis. In this article, they will be discussed: the knightly symbol – the pentangle, and the color symbolism in the poem.
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Historical Context of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight text is a prime example of medieval romance. The poem is an adventure story about a heroic Arthurian knight, Gawain. This literary genre of chivalric romance was popular in the aristocratic layer of European society. Traditionally, the main hero endures trials, challenges, and quests, throughout which he demonstrates various virtues and higher moral purpose. Many chivalric romances portray Gawain as the most loyal and honest knight of King Arthur’s court. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is not an exception. Besides that, the poem deals with Christian subject matter which is quite unusual for this genre.
The poem was written in Middle English in the late 14th century by an anonymous poet. The author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is called the Gawain poet. Little is known about him. However, the critics claim that he wrote several other vital poems such as Purity, Pearl, and Patience. All four lyrics are written in a Middle English dialect, either from Cheshire or Lancashire county. This Arthurian legend has its own peculiar style. The rhyming lines are organized to the scheme that is known as the “bob and wheel.”
The poet explores the country’s legends, history, and style and connects it to antiquity. He creates two historical frames: one of Great Britain and the second one of Troy’s ancient city. This reference connects Arthurian and Medieval Romance to the tradition of epic European literature.