"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is a great poem that gives some powerful twists to traditional material. The story combines two ancient elements, beheading and seduction, in a fresh way. It takes familiar medieval themes - the feast, the seasons, the arming of the warrior, the hunt - and gives them a new glamour. The "intertextuality" of this poem and its relationship to other literature of its time can be more fully seen through Elisabeth Brewer's modern English versions of other related medieval writings. Her book is an unusual small anthology of medieval literature, but it also aims to provide a context for a fuller understanding of "Sir Gawain" through its presentation of extracts and poems (including translations from Celtic and French originals) illustrating the tradition in which the Gawain-poet wrote. Students should find this a readable collection, enjoyable in itself. It should also help to enhance the pleasure of reading "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". It provides an introduction to both the poem and to aspects of medieval literature, and is a useful tool for critical comparison, making available texts that otherwise are hard to find and harder to read.
The feast; the beheading game; the passing of the year; the arming of the warrior; Gawain's arrival at the castle; the hunt; the temptation theme; the antifeminist diatribe; later versions.
Series: Arthurian Studies
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 6th December 1992
Publisher: BOYDELL & BREWER INC
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.34 x 15.7
Weight (kg): 0.33
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised